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Porter County GOP removes Facebook post making light of injured protesters

Porter County GOP removes Facebook post making light of injured protesters

VALPARAISO — A Valparaiso Republicans Facebook post Wednesday made light of two protesters being struck by a car in Bloomington following a peaceful protest, a party leader concedes.

Porter County Republican Party Chairman Mike Simpson confirmed Thursday morning that someone from the party's Facebook team was responsible for the post and commentary. Simpson said it was taken down once it came to the attention of party leaders.

He said he was unsure how long it remained on the site.

"It was in poor taste, childish and not acceptable," he said.

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The post in question appeared to make light of an alleged hit-and-run that occurred Monday during the Bloomington, Indiana, protest of an alleged racially fueled attack on a black human rights activist July 4.

"Life Hack: If you don't stand in the road and attempt to swarm innocent motorists, your likelihood of being hit by a car goes down 1000x," the Valparaiso Republicans post read, along with a link to a story about the incident.

Simpson declined to name the person responsible for the post but said that person made a mistake.

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The post, which received at least 10 thumbs up, hearts and laughing emojis from readers, was less well-received by others, including someone who captured a screenshot before it was removed.

Simpson said there are nine people who have access to the Facebook page on the Valparaiso GOP social media team. The page features various news stories and social media shares with a partisan slant, commentaries and reader comments.

Simpson said he wants news stories shared on the page, but not the type of inappropriate commentary displayed on the post in question.

White men said 'get a noose' during Indiana assault of Black man on July 4, man alleges

During the protest referenced in the Valparaiso post, a 29-year-old woman was injured when a car accelerated into her, launching her onto the hood, police said. A 35-year-old man then grabbed the driver’s side of the car and held on as the vehicle continued to accelerate. Both were eventually flung to the ground and the car fled the scene, they said.

The woman was knocked unconscious and suffered a cut to her head, while the man scraped his arm.

Prompting the protest was the alleged attack on Vauhxx Booker, a civil rights activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, by a group of white men at Monroe Lake near Bloomington. Booker said the men pinned him against a tree and shouted racial slurs, and one of them threatened to “get a noose.”

The Region responds to the death of George Floyd

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.

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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. 

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Protesters rallying for justice for George Floyd recited names of Black victims as part of their chants on Saturday in Pheasant Hills Park. Vi…


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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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