Under sunny skies around noon Saturday, protesters met in downtown Muncie on the corner of Main and Walnut streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died Monday in police custody.
Four Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving, the Associated Press reported.
Derek Chauvin, the white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck as he begged for air, was arrested Friday and charged with murder, according to the AP.
Floyd’s death resulted in both peaceful and violent protests in Minneapolis and multiple cities around the country. Late Friday and early Saturday, clashes with the police in Indianapolis prompted officers to fire multiple volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds that shattered storefronts.
At the protest, participants chanted slogans, held signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for Floyd” and cheered as cars passed by and honked. More people joined the protests as time went by.
Jeffery Tompkins, a protestor at the event, said he was riding his bike through Muncie and joined in on the protest.
“I’m here not to talk. I’m here just to stand in solidarity with our black brethren who have been systematically and systemically perpetrated violence against in the name of the United States of America,” Tompkins said.
Another protestor, Antoinette Willen, said she had seen a post on Facebook promoting the event that her friends had tagged her in, drove by the event and decided she too wanted to be part of the event.
When she heard about the news regarding Floyd’s death and the protests that followed, Willen said she had “a lot of mixed feelings” because she is a person of color.
“I just wanted to get the point across peacefully without riots and just a nice protest and just trying to get the community together and show everybody that we can all be one,” she said.
Marcy Kindred, who was also in attendance at the protest, said the protest was against police brutality and making the statement that black lives matter.
Kindred said she felt “rage” when she heard about Floyd’s death, and was “heartbroken.”
“Being a white person, I don’t feel the same trauma that people of color, especially black people of color face everyday when they see incidents like this,” she said. “It’s all together really traumatic, but I can never understand. So that’s why I stand.”
Kindred said she is planning to attend the protest in Indianapolis later. She said she isn't worried about attending the Indianapolis protest because she plans to bring milk, baking soda and water in case police officers use tear gas on the protesters, as well as a change of clothes.
Rohith Rao contributed to this story.