Protest

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Cars circled two full blocks of downtown Indianapolis Saturday as part of protest to support transgender students. The demonstration was in response to the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis’s new policy banning transgender students from their schools. 

Nuns Protesting Upcoming Executions In Terre Haute

Jul 9, 2020
(AP PHOTO/MICHAEL CONROY)

A religious order plans to protest three upcoming executions at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute.

Members of the Sisters of Providence, St. Mary of the Woods will hold a vigil Monday afternoon before the scheduled 4:00 pm execution of Daniel Lee.

The vigil will take place on Springhill Road and US 41/150.

“Sadly the Catholic Church within our official teachings, only within the last, I think it will be two years this fall, has said unequivocally there is no reason, capital punishment, the death penalty is ever admissible,” said Sister Barbara Battista.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

Chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” echoed through the streets of South Bend for a second weekend in a row. Hundreds of people showed up Friday night to protest police brutality and demand racial justice.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’ll continue to work on his “to-do list” for addressing systemic racism and injustice in Indiana.

Holcomb Monday spoke about this past weekend’s protests over racial injustice and police brutality, particularly against black Americans.

He did not directly address the latter issue – he only praised what he calls “restraint” shown by law enforcement. There were multiple reports of police in Indiana using tear gas on peaceful protesters, before demonstrations became violent.

Eric Weddle/WFYI

A gathering of a few hundred people in downtown Indianapolis Friday that stretched from the afternoon until night ended in police officers releasing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets at the crowds. 

That set off hours of chaos downtown that stretched into early Saturday when a CVS drug store was set on fire

The protest, like others around the country, follows the death of George Floyd while in he was Minneapolis police custody.

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The homeless who are staying in tents near downtown South Bend were given until 10 a.m. Tuesday to disperse. But they didn’t start leaving until late this afternoon resulting in protests and police being called to the scene. 

Hair Cutting Protest Outside Michigan Capitol

May 20, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police have ticketed seven people for cutting hair during a protest outside the Michigan Capitol, where about a dozen barbers and hair stylists defied stay-at-home orders to give free hair cuts. At one point, about 300 people attended Wednesday's demonstration organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition to protest the measures imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to curb the coronavirus. Seven barbers have been cited for disorderly conduct after being warned by state police. The cases were referred to the state attorney general.

(Alan Mbathi/IPB News)

Employees from five casinos rallied in Indianapolis Friday, forming a “car caravan” around the Statehouse and Monument Circle. They urged lawmakers not to allow casinos to reopen until they’re given affordable health care and can ensure safety.

Panel Forms Committee To Review Issue Of Guns At Michigan Capitol

May 11, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A commission that oversees the Michigan Capitol has formed a committee to study whether to ban or restrict guns inside the building. The State Capitol Commission voted Monday to seek input from the Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The move comes after some lawmakers reported feeling intimidated by armed demonstrators protesting her orders to curb the coronavirus. Attorney General Dana Nessel says the panel can legally prohibit firearms in the Capitol. But some commission members wanted time to study the issue.

FILE PHOTO: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says a police chase Wednesday ended in a fatal officer-involved shooting.  IMPD provided updates on the incident at a press conference Thursday. 

Police say Dreasjon Reed was driving erratically when police started pursuing the vehicle he was driving. Reed streamed the chase live on Facebook while thousands of people watched. 

Michigan AG Says Guns May Be Banned At Capitol In Lansing

May 7, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya File)

BREAKING: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says guns may be banned in the state Capitol. Nessel said so in a letter today (Fri) to the Michigan Capitol Commission. The commission sets rules for the public areas of the building. The commission has an online meeting scheduled for Monday.
 

This action is being considered after a large number of people carrying guns and dressed in para-military gear were among those who gathered for a protest last week at the Capitol.    (Read more below from a press release issued by the State of Michigan.) 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has sent a letter to the Michigan State Capitol Commission confirming that the Commission has the legal authority to prohibit the presence of firearms in the state Capitol, if it chooses to do so. That authority is consistent with the current state of the law regarding firearms in public buildings and an informational letter sent to Speaker Chatfield in 2018. 

“The Capitol is a place for free expression of thought and debate. But the freedom of civil discourse does not imply the right to threaten others with harm or violence,” Nessel said. “In our current environment and as the chief law enforcement officer in this state, I am gravely concerned for the safety of both our legislative members and the public at large. 

“With exceptions to those tasked with protecting our Capitol, the only way to assure that a violent episode does not occur is to act in concert with the many other state legislatures around the nation that have banned firearms in their capital facilities. The employees at our Capitol and members of the public who visit are entitled to all the same protections as one would have at a courthouse and many other public venues. Public safety demands no less, and a lawmaker’s desire to speak freely without fear of violence requires action be taken.” 

The Commission, which manages the Capitol grounds and building, is made up of the Secretary of the Senate, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, two individuals jointly appointed by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House, and two individuals appointed by the Governor.  

Nessel wrote in her letter to commissioners that the Commission has the legal authority to ensure the “safety of the visiting public, as well as those who carry out the People’s work by prohibiting firearms within the Capitol building.” 

The Attorney General notes that the regulation of firearms generally stems from state statute, but the prohibition of firearms from public spaces does not need to originate from the Legislature.  

The Michigan Supreme Court, for example, adopted an administrative order that bars firearms from any courtroom, office or other space used for official court business or by judicial employees without prior approval. That order applies to open carry of firearms as well, Nessel notes, as it was cited in a Court of Appeals decision in an open carry challenge to a school district prohibition of weapons on school grounds. 

“The concept of ‘open carry’ in Michigan law does not provide the unfettered right to bring firearms into any public space,” Nessel wrote in her letter. 

The Supreme Court also ruled that state law, which preempts regulations by local units of government, does not apply to school districts. Therefore, a non-local unit of government – such as a school district, the Supreme Court or the Michigan State Capitol Commission – may lawfully impose regulations that impact firearms. 

Nessel notes in her letter that residents are currently permitted to enter the Capitol while clad in body armor and armed with high-capacity loaded semi-automatic assault weapons. 

“This is permitted during active legislative sessions and during moments of controversial debate where emotions and passions are known to run hot,” she wrote. “At the risk of stating the obvious, this is an absurdly dangerous combination that would cause the heart of any security expert to skip a beat.” 

During recent protests at the Capitol, many residents have been carrying firearms leading lawmakers and other Capitol employees to express that they felt threatened and feared for their safety. 

Nessel’s position on restrictions to open carry and weapons possession is consistent with guidance provided to House leaders from the previous administration of the Attorney General’s office

Justin Hicks/WVPE

This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. on April 30, 2020 to include new information on Edwards' release date.

On the day Scottie Edwards died, he nearly fell over on the way to the bathroom. A pair of fellow inmates at the Westville Correctional Facility propped him up and got him to sit down on a toilet. 

“He had been sick for about a week and a half,” says one inmate named Josh in a recorded call. He asked to be identified by his first name, because he fears retaliation from prison staff. 

Paul Sancya / AP / File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Protesters are back at the Michigan Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-home order and business restrictions. They're try to put pressure on Republican lawmakers who are meeting to consider extending Whitmer's coronavirus emergency declaration hours before it expires.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 57 additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 901. The state announced more than 16,500 total confirmed cases, with more than 87,000 Hoosiers tested.

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE

Roughly 100 cars circled the Westville Correctional Facility Tuesday in protest of what the drivers say are dangerous health conditions regarding COVID-19 within the prison.

Republicans Vow To Cut Gov. Whitmer's Emergency Powers

Apr 23, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans who control the Legislature want to dilute the power of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They say they'll meet Friday to pass bills to rein in Whitmer's emergency powers and create a committee to oversee the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Republicans are unhappy with the breadth of Whitmer's stay-at-home order, though polling shows the public believes she's made the right calls. Whitmer is expected to extend it past April 30 but with modifications.

Earth Day Climate Protest Goes Digital

Apr 21, 2020
Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

A statewide climate strike is going digital this Earth Day. Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in the U.S. Organizers of the event want Hoosiers to remember the global climate crisis isn’t stopping for the pandemic. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the governor’s mansion Saturday to protest Indiana’s “Stay-At-Home” order. Demonstrators say the plan to slowly reopen businesses in less than two weeks isn’t fast enough. 

Celia Lavoie

NEW:

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana university says a white professor accused of discrimination after he called university police to his classroom because a black student refused to change seats won't teach for the remainder of the semester.

The Star Press reports that Ball State University didn't provide specifics in its statement Thursday.

No formal charges or disciplinary action were immediately taken against Shaheen Borna in the wake of the Jan. 21 classroom incident.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

More than 100 people gathered on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday to call on Congress to impeach President Donald Trump.

The U.S. House is expected to vote on impeachment Wednesday.

Few of those who addressed the crowd referenced the specific impeachment charges against Trump. But they were united in their ultimate message. Here’s Hoosier college student Christian Omoruyi.

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE

A protest was staged in South Bend on the eve of the U.S. House debating and voting on Articles of Impeachment against Pres. Donald Trump. The demonstration was outside the office of Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican who has indicated he will not support impeachment and will support Trump when the issue comes before the U.S. Senate. 

Some demonstrators chanted, "Lock him up!" A variation on the chant often heard at Trump's rallies when he urges his supporters to voice displeasure about his 2016 political opponent, Hillary Clinton. Below are video clips of protestors chanting. 

About 50 protestors lined the sidewalk in front of Braun’s office Tuesday night. They want President Donald Trump impeached.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

An event designed to show that there is support in the local South Bend African American community for Pete Buttigieg, at one point devolved into protest.

Some of the community members who had gathered to speak in favor of Buttigieg included Karen White and Sharon McBride who are on the South Bend Common Council, Gladys Muhammad with the South Bend Heritage Foundation and Michael Patton who is a local pastor. 

Indiana Governor Doesn’t Knock School Closings For Protest

Nov 13, 2019
Michael Conroy/AP Photo/File

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb isn’t promising any quick action on the call for further boosting teacher pay that thousands of educators will be making at the Statehouse next week.

Teacher unions say at least 107 school districts with more than 40 percent of Indiana’s students will be closed Tuesday while their teachers attend the rally.

Holcomb didn’t criticize school districts for closing the day of the union-organized rally, saying it was a local decision.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

U.S. Attorney General William Barr spoke to a room of more than 200 Notre Dame law school students and faculty about religious liberty on Friday. He expressed opposition to the rise of secular culture while avoiding any talk of the impeachment inquiry surrounding the president.

Attorney General Barr presented his views on the constitutional rights to religious freedom and bemoaned increasing secularism in society and government. He says religious rights are especially in danger when states impose secular laws on religious education. 

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE News

A large crowd of activists gathered near Notre Dame Friday evening to protest while U.S. Attorney General William Barr spoke at a private event at the university. 

Protestors stood in the rain outside Notre Dame’s gates holding signs which read ‘no one is above the law’ and ‘disbar Barr.’ They blew whistles to voice their unhappiness in the way Barr handled a whistleblower complaint which prompted an impeachment inquiry.

Annacaroline Caruso & Justin Hicks/WVPE

In spite of Friday afternoon's rain, some protestors still turned out for what they call a "Whistle for Whistleblowers' protest against U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Barr is speaking Friday at the Notre Dame Law School. 

More than 200 people are attending Barr's talk with another two overflow rooms watching on a live feed. Barr's talk is not open to the public. Media are covering it. But media will be ushered out of the room when students ask questions of Barr. 

PATRICK SEMANSKY / AP

Students and activists are planning a protest in response to U-S Attorney General William Barr speaking at a private event at Notre Dame Law School on Friday.

Annacaroline Caruso

South Bend, Mishawaka, and St. Joseph County officials discussed a proposal Thursday night to fund the county’s 911 Dispatch Center by pulling money from other agencies, like local libraries, public transit and the South Bend Airport. 

Annacaroline Caruso

About 30 people gathered in Michigan City’s Pullman Park Thursday night to protest a proposal by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company. 

NIPSCO plans to cut electric bill rates for it’s five large industrial customers and raise costs for residential consumers.

FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU

Northern Indiana utility customers are holding a rally Thursday night to oppose NIPSCO’s plans to raise their rates while allowing industrial customers to access lower market prices. The utility says the increase will help it transition away from coal and toward renewable energy and natural gas. 

Jacarra Williams is the senior pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Michigan City, which helps some residents pay their electric bills. He says he’s glad NIPSCO is going to more wind and solar, but some members of the community are struggling to make ends meet.

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