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INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis has had a feeling of dread and tension since riots took place over the weekend and more clashes between police and protesters on Sunday before a curfew was implemented.

Monday evening replaced that feeling of tension with a sense of hope as police and protesters walked together and talked with each other during another protest in the downtown area.

Protesters gathered once again on Monument Circle to again push for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis and also to demonstrate against instances of police brutality. The protest moved north on Meridian Street all the way to the Governor’s Mansion where IMPD and State Police were camped out ready to meet the crowds.

The crowd kept moving even though it was passed 8:00 p.m., the time when another curfew was put in place by Mayor Joe Hogsett. But the crowd was not met with tear gas and pepper balls for violating curfew, they came to an agreement that they would walk together in solidarity for one block to the Governor’s Mansion.

The officers and protesters walked with arms around each other until the reached the gates.

“I grew up and I was kind of scared of the police, just to do it (put his arm around an officer) it feels good, man,” said one protester. “For a long time, it’s been us at war with them. Just to be with him right now and walk with him and have my hand on his shoulder and him hugging my brother, I feel like we came a long way.”

Once they reached the mansion the protesters encircled a group of officers as if to protect them and there the two sides engaged in dialogue; protesters urging others in the crowd to be quiet and listen to the officers speak.

“Your message gets lost when you turn violent,” said one officer to the crowd. “Your message gets lost when you destroy Indianapolis. Please, keep it peaceful. Be heard! Get your voice heard. Be the change you want to see in this world, but do it the right way!”

The protesters informed the officers near the end that they would be back on Monument Circle at 4:00 p.m. again Tuesday as well as every day this week. The only plea from the officer who spoke to the crowd was to “keep it peaceful” and the leaders of the protest agreed to do just that.

The crowd peacefully dispersed at the request of the leaders of the protest soon after.

Mayor Joe Hogsett saw what had happened and released this statement:

“At this pivotal moment in our country’s history, it is critical that we preserve the right to have voices of change be heard – and that we listen. Tonight, I was proud to watch a moving example of what that can look like.”

“We have a long, difficult road ahead if we are to address decades of mistrust and create meaningful change. In joining arms, these peaceful protestors and their police department came together to take a small step forward. It was an inspiring reminder of what makes Indianapolis a special place to call home.”