Indiana Governor Defends Officer Response To Assault Report

Jul 9, 2020

People march along 3rd street in Bloomington on July 7th, 2020, in support of Vauhxx Booker.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says he is "proud" of the state's Department of Natural Resources amid criticism that the agency's conservation officers didn't adequately respond to the reported assault of a Black man by a group of white men at a lake last weekend. The governor said during a news conference Wednesday that the agency's officers acted according to protocols. But Katharine Liell, a lawyer for Vauhxx Booker, the man who says he was attacked, is calling on the governor to do more. Liell says arrests should have been made at the scene and that the DNR officers should be investigated.

Meantime, an Indiana woman has been arrested in a hit-and-run crash that sent one woman to the hospital and caused minor injuries to a man during a southern Indiana protest over the assault of a Black man by a group of white men. Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy Barry Grooms says 66-year-old Christi Bennett, of Scottsburg, was booked into the Monroe County Jail early Thursday on preliminary charges of leaving the scene of an accident. She was released on $500 cash bond within a couple of hours. Authorities expect prosecutors to file formal charges later. The confrontation happened near a courthouse in Bloomington on Monday.