Police Investigating After Violence Erupts At Dueling Protests In Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana – Police are investigating separate reports of assault over the weekend at a pro-law enforcement rally in downtown Bloomington, an official said Monday.
Captain Ryan Pedigo told reporters that Bloomington Police interviewed two people who suffered light injuries to the head and face at Saturday’s rally.
The incidents occurred shortly after counter-protesters arrived at the event being held outside the Monroe County Courthouse in downtown Bloomington.
Pedigo said that police were looking into a report that one of the victims pointed a firearm at others shortly after someone struck him with a baton.
He said a police officer observed the person briefly point an assault-style gun at people on the ground. He said that person asked a police officer on the scene to arrest the attacker, who appeared to be part of a pro-police rally.
No one has been arrested so far, he said.
The other victim, who appeared to have been attacked by someone protesting the event, told police he was not interested in pressing charges.
As of Monday, Pedigo said the police did not know the names of either of the alleged attackers. Neither victim could identify their assailant, and Bloomington Police have so far been unable to identify any suspects, he said.
Dozens of people witnessed both attacks Saturday, although it wasn’t clear if police conducted extensive interviews at the scene.
The attacks also appeared on videos uploaded to social media the same day but police are still reviewing them, Pedigo said.
Pedigo did not identify either victim by name but his descriptions matched individuals described by witnesses during the rally Saturday.
He also said that authorities were not investigating a separate incident in which a driver turned onto Walnut Street while protesters were standing in the way. The driver continued as one person stood in front of the vehicle and another climbed on the hood.
Medics treated the person who was briefly on the hood at the scene, and the vehicle departed. Police briefly closed one block of the intersection as they investigated.
Also Saturday, participants in the pro-police rally traveled to Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton’s home and demonstrated. Participants claimed that Hamilton called police to intervene — a claim that the mayor’s communications director denied Monday.
“Yes, protestors showed up at the mayor’s house for about 20 minutes on Saturday, using a PA system,” Yael Ksander said. “No, the mayor did not call the police.”
She said the mayor believed other people in the area contacted police due to concerns about vehicles blocking the streets.
Pedigo did not respond to questions over the weekend or on Monday about the police activity outside the mayor’s home Saturday.