For the second time in less than 24 hours, demonstrators peacefully marched through central Carmel to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Dept. and other police-related deaths of black people.
But this time, police marched with them.
Several members of the Carmel Police Dept. walked alongside dozens of protestors, sharing information and stories with each other and discussing changes they’d like to see. Others officers followed nearby on motorcycles to keep the group safe from traffic as they made their way from Carter’s Green to Main Street and back again.
Police said event organizer Reign Acosta, who declined to be interviewed by Current, reached out to let officers know about the event and invite them to participate.
Fishers resident Will Toyer helped coordinate the protest and said he plans to organize one in his hometown, as well. He thanked protestors for remaining peaceful as they brought their message to Carmel.
“We know that the majority is out here in Carmel, a lot of money and a lot of power, so we wanted to spread that to the community and get people involved that way,” Toyer said after the event.
His wife, Kristan Bowman, said she was encouraged by Carmel officials taking the time to hear what the demonstrators had to say.
“Getting people to listen is a first step,” Bowman said. “It won’t continue to move forward if we’re fighting the whole time.”
CPD Chief Jim Barlow marched near the front throughout the protest. He said both groups learned a lot about each other.
“We want to show that we’re open. We strive for perfection, but we realize we’re human and we’re going to make mistakes,” Barlow said. “You just don’t want to see mistakes to the level that happened in Minneapolis.”
Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush also walked with the protestors. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard participated in the first portion of the walk.
The same group of protestors who marched through the Arts & Design District on June 1 plans to do it again this afternoon at 5 p.m. Barlow said police are willing to march with them, as well, if they are asked to join.