January 14, 2021

IMPD Preparing to Respond if Demonstrations at the Statehouse Turn Violent

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is preparing to respond if demonstrations at the Statehouse turn violent this weekend. The FBI believes armed far-right extremist groups plan to march at all state capitals ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

IMPD Deputy Chief Josh Barker said officers will not interrupt citizens who want to exercise their First Amendment rights, but they will not tolerate violence.

“Individuals who make a decision to engage in criminal behavior, IMPD will work quickly with our partners to quickly intervene and remove those individuals from the crowd so they do not disrupt peaceful demonstrations and protests," Barker said.

Barker said there will be an increase in police presence over the next few days.

“We think we have a good idea of the appropriate amount of resources that will be needed to have a presence to really assure folks that IMPD is there along with other public safety in Indianapolis and ready to respond if needed," Barker said.

Barker expects demonstrations this weekend, but he said IMPD has no information that gives him concern there will be illegal activity and criminal behavior related to protests in Indianapolis.

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