DYER — Scores of protesters gathered at Pheasant Hills Park early Saturday afternoon to protest racism, injustice and recent police killings, including of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
"There's something wrong, there's something wrong if you're OK with what you saw happen to that man," Jerrod Davis, of Chicago Heights, said. "Whoever you are, whether you drive a Harley or a minivan, if you're okay with watching somebody stand on somebody's neck for 10 minutes, we've got a problem. You don't have to like me. Marlboro or Newports, Budweiser or Old English, aren't we all just trying to put in 40 hours and feed our families and go home? Do you know how much work it takes to hate? I'm tired of it. You've got people driving by wishing they could shoot at us just because we don't want more people to die needlessly."
Davis said he used to tell his children if something went wrong, find a cop. Now he said he's no longer sure what to tell them.
"There are little black boys here. On Christmas Day, police were driving around dropping off toys," Davis said. "This one was scared to death, I didn't find out until two months later, he thought they were going to shoot him."
He said he's been discriminated against since he was teenager, recalling when he was pulled over in the south suburbs.
"They were polite, but I got field sobriety tested, 'who's car is this?' tested, 'it's not on any hot lists' tested. While wearing work clothes with a bow tie, I got tested," he said. "I'm tired of it. I'm on the receiving end. But if you're not on the receiving end, you've got to be tired of watching people die."
The demonstrators marched around the park, which had a heavy police presence that included barriers and bike patrols. A few men with assault rifles and cargo shorts stood behind police, one wearing a "don't tread on me" shirt and an American flag as a cape with another donning a tactical vest.
Protesters, waving signs like "Human rights aren't a political statement" and “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Isaiah 1:17," included many small children and dogs. A few elected officials were on hand.
Dyer Town Councilman Steve Kramer, wearing a USW face mask, said he came out to show support since diversity was one of the community's strengths.
"I'm very proud of our community. I'm proud of our police department too. They've done an excellent job," he said. "This is a peaceful protest to make people aware of these issues."
State Rep. Chris Chyung, who joined a line of sign-waving protesters along Hart Street, also said he was proud of the activism in the community.
"I don't support defunding the police entirely, but I believe police reform is something everyone can agree on," he said. "Let's make our police better, not just take money from them."
The protest ended with nine minutes of silence in memory of Floyd, who died after a now-fired Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly that long despite his pleas that he couldn't breathe.
Raegan Terese Bricks-Davis, of Chicago Heights, one of the organizers of the protest, said it was difficult to explain to her children why people got treated differently because of the amount of melanin in their skin.
"My 6-year-old told me, 'mommy, I'm scared to grow up. I don't want to grow up," she said. "I asked, 'Why is that son?' 'Because I'm going to grow up to a black man. I don't want to be killed.' He's 6. He's 6 years old. That's the hate a 6-year-old sees in the world. A 6-year-old is scared to grow up because at what point will be become a threat? When he's 10? When he's 11? When he's 15, 16 or 17? Our children's lives matter. All lives cannot matter until their lives matter."
Collection: The Region responds to the death of George Floyd
Following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, organizers throughout multiple municipalities in the Region joined with others in rallying against systemic racism.
View stories, photo galleries and videos reported by staff and correspondents from multiple days of protest coverage.
The protest began Saturday morning outside the Hammond Police Department before moving to the streets. Police formed a blockade at 171st and Calumet to prevent the crowd from moving onto I-80/94.
Protesters gathered outside the Hammond Police Department Tuesday morning and later marched down the street. Police formed a blockade at 171st…
"The comments were not serious in nature and in poor taste. They were meant as a joke to my friend and in no way serious," Chesterton Town Councilman Robert Allision, D-3rd, said in his post.
Demonstrators protest police brutality throughout the nation with a rally in Hammond. The protesters then marched down Calumet Avenue where th…
Several businesses were shut down on the Torrence Avenue commercial strip in Calumet City and Lansing.
Protesters were speaking out about the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Protesters call for justice for George Floyd, who died in police custody, at a Southlake Mall rally on Sunday.
Protesters call for justice for George Floyd, who died in police custody, at a Southlake Mall rally on Sunday.
Protestors call for justice in the death of George Floyd outside Southlake Mall on Sunday.
Protestors call for justice for George Floyd at a Southlake Mall rally in Hobart on Sunday.
The Lake County Tactical Unit team arrives at Southlake Mall as the number of protesters has reached more than 300 seeking justice for George …
Protesters mobilized their rally and have blocked off parts of U.S. 30 near Southlake Mall. Hundreds have gathered to protest racial injustice…
Hundreds of protesters stood in a field of tall grass behind the Michigan City Police Station before taking their message of “No justice, no peace” to the streets.
Hundreds of protesters demand justice behind the Michigan City Police Department in the wake of George Floyd's death while in police custody l…
As protesters moved from Southlake Mall towards I-65, police used tear gas to try and stop the movement.
Protesters and police faced off at Southlake Mall and U.S. 30 in Hobart on Sunday.
As protesters move throughout Michigan City, one person decided to climb a railroad signal. Protesters are rallying for racial injustice acros…
Demonstrators have a standoff with police on U.S. 30 by Southlake Mall in Hobart. The peaceful standoff later escalated when police resort to …
Protesters tried to get into Michigan City's Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets but were turned away by police.
Purdue Northwest, the School City of Hammond and Gary Community School Corp. are taking preventative measures Monday after protests spread across the Region over the weekend.
"The Chesterton Town Council does not share these opinions and unequivocally denounces them," according to the prepared statement from members of the Chesterton Town Council.
Hammond and Calumet City have extended their curfews while businesses clean up after looting.
"I've cleaned up more glass that I have seen in my life," Cullen Wulf said Monday. "It just hurts."
Dozens came together at Gateway Park downtown Gary on Monday to spread a message of peace in wake of the death of George Floyd, who died after…
"We're seeing peaceful protests that start out with a noble cause in mind. Those seeking to right wrongs of the past. ... But we are seeing those peaceful demonstrations get hijacked."
If necessary, Gary is prepared to take more drastic and restrictive steps to protect public safety, including a curfew, Mayor Jerome Prince said.
Dozens came together at Gateway Park downtown Gary on Monday to spread a message of peace in wake of the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.
More than 30 young men and women shouted, “no justice, no peace,” and “George Floyd.” They held “I can’t breath” signs and lied down on the sidewalk outside the old Lake County Courthouse.
Protesters gathered near the Old Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point Monday to rally against racism and the police actions that led to the d…
The rumored protest ended up being small and peaceful.
"Before judging Black people based off our emotional reactions, you must first acknowledge and address the institutional and systemic racism that continues to light that fuse within us."
Valparaiso resident Mike Garcher, who held a sign that read, "End the violence - Recognize humanity," said, "I do believe everyone has a responsibility to call for a change."
"Some key Region leaders have shown us in recent days that they understand and are willing to facilitate these rights in person."
The video, which has been viewed more than 175,000 times on Twitter, shows 21 people standing near the end of the Erie-Lackawanna Trail. Eight of those pictured are holding rifles as the group passes by.
In a statement, Bishop Robert J. McClory noted that the Catholic bishops of this country, “like so many of you, are outraged by his tragic death.”
Please only consider information credible if it is posted on this page or published in the media with the name of a representative from the Gary Police Department and not ‘a source,'" police said.
Most businesses at the Shops on Main and Highland Grove shopping centers and along Indianapolis Boulevard in Schererville temporarily closed after social media posts suggested a protest against be staged.
"We will be ready to deploy the cement blocks again within minutes if the situation becomes necessary once again," McDermott said.
The protest in Hammond began peacefully, but a large group moved into the road after about an hour and blocking traffic in an attempt to access I-80/94, police said.
Officers began handing out water to the demonstrators, who gathered Wednesday outside the Munster Police Department.
A group of protesters gathered Wednesday afternoon outside the Police Department, holding signs that read "No justice, no peace" and "Time for…
Police arrested 10 adults and four juveniles Sunday after a protest near Southlake Mall. The gathering was organized to protest police brutality.
“Despite all of our efforts and best intentions, we can always do better,” Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy said.
GARY — A handful of protesters called on Thursday for police to release more information about the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old man last su…
The family and friends of the late Rashad Cunningham protested outside the Gary Police Department on Thursday.
"I want people to know what is happening at these protests and to know the entirety of the situation. People need to understand that all lives cannot matter until black lives matter.”
Griffith police condemn social media posts about Black Lives Matter event planned for Sunday at Central Park.
A demonstration in Lowell gathered nearly 100 protestors, a group of Invaders and a handful of residents open-carrying AR-15 guns. It ended in prayer, discussion and peace.
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez said authorities are constantly monitoring information of possible looting or violent activity.
Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside Gary City Hall Friday prior to marching together through downtown. Video by John Luke.
Dozens of demonstrators rallied Friday at 4th Avenue and Broadway Street in Gary, calling for social justice and more transparency from city officials.
The man, who has not been named, can be seen in various videos wearing a bright green Pure Illumination, Inc., shirt, following protesters and saying things such as, "You're the wrong color."
When Indiana football coach Tom Allen saw the video about the tragic death of George Floyd, followed by protests and more violence powered by …
Organizers gathered outside Munster High School on Friday for a Black Lives Matter rally.
Upwards of 500 people gathered outside the courthouse then marched up and down the sidewalk of the U.S. 35 overpass with about 70 police officers in the area keeping the peace.
Fifteen people gathered at the Crown Point skate park in honor of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police earlier this year while asleep in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Justice can’t be delayed,” Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, said.
NWI health care workers joined the national #WhiteCoatsforBlackLives movement in a silent protest Friday morning.
Despite Cpl. Monte White’s instinct to engage with the woman, he said he kept silent — well aware that his job in that moment was to keep peace. He couldn’t drop his guard due to the intensifying crowd of protesters that stood a few, short feet away.
With a global pandemic and now widespread social unrest, it's a been chaotic and challenging time for retailers and small businesses across th…
Rev. Rod Reed leads a gathering of protesters in song on Sunday in Griffith's Central Park. Video by John Luke.
Hundreds gathered in Griffith for a Black Lives Matter event in which they marched around Central Park and lay in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to pay tribute to George Floyd.
Demonstrators protest Sunday at Lake Station City Hall.
The city of Gary is preparing to reexamine the operations of its police department amid nationwide calls for reform.
A Hobart cop is under internal investigation for inflammatory social media comments regarding race, including police response times to black neighborhoods, the police chief confirmed.
Chief Wiley Luther Cuttino said Floyd's death is “damaging to the relationship and trust between the public and police,” and he wants to be part of the solution to rebuild a bond with the community.
A handful of protesters congregated in downtown Griffith Thursday, calling for the closure of a bar that has been at the center of several controversies
“We just want people to be really thinking about (police brutality), and we want people to be able to educate themselves on the issues that really cause that,” one of the event organizers said.
More than 200 joined in the student organized "peaceful protest" outside of Lake Central High School.
She was among the protesters who congregated in downtown Griffith last week, calling for the closure of a bar at the center of several controversies.
CHESTERTON — Two Chesterton High School teachers brought together 250 to 300 people Friday night to work toward equality for all people.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.