Prosecutor to try 50 protesters

By The Associated Press

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards will prosecute 50 people but drop charges against 45 others who were arrested after protests in Fort Wayne in late May and mid-June, she announced Monday.

Also, five cases of “unreasonable force” have been forwarded to the Fort Wayne Police Department internal affairs office for review, Richards said at a news conference.

About 140 protesters were charged, mostly on misdemeanor charges such as disorderly conduct, after Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Fort Wayne on May 29-30 and June 14. About 50 of those cases are pending.

Four investigators from the prosecutor’s office spent weeks reviewing video and photos from cell phones, drones, news media, dash cameras and surveillance.

Richards said her goal was to differentiate between peaceful protests and “things that put this community in danger.” Criminal conduct among protesters included a man smashing a storefront with a skateboard, she said.

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