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Officials in wake of violent protests: “This is not Fort Wayne”

(Darrin Wright/WOWO)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Officials from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Fort Wayne Ten Point Coalition, a Fort Wayne pastoral group, and Mayor Tom Henry had one message in response to last night’s demonstration over the death of George Floyd that turned into a riot:

“This is not Fort Wayne,” Henry said, passionately saying what was reported last night “will not happen again.” He also praised the dozens of people who have since come out to help clean up the damage and debris.

(Darrin Wright/WOWO)

Sheriff David Gladieux said anyone who stepped out of line in further protests – with at least one rumored for today – would take a “short ride” to the jail, and that his officers would not be giving people any second chances. He also seemed to blame the media for some of the violence, which involved broken windows, people throwing rocks and bottled water at police and blocking traffic, and police responding with tear gas:

“They’re here because you’re here,” Gladieux said to reporters, advising them that for future protests, they should just “get your shot but don’t stick around all night.”

Two officers were injured. FWPD Chief Steve Reed said their injuries were minor. 29 people were arrested and held without bond for crimes ranging from disorderly conduct to vandalism.

“What was so painful turned out to be a problem for the rest of us,” said Robert Bell of United Pastors of Fort Wayne. “It got out of hand and, sadly, nobody could get it back without the police.”

(Darrin Wright/WOWO)

Officials said the vast majority of those arrested, and they believe those who got people agitated in the first place, were “outsiders” from out-of-town. They would not go into detail as to where, or if they represented any particular group.

A full list of arrests would be provided this afternoon, an FWPD spokesperson said.

Listen to the full press conference below:

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