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.
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.
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.
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.”
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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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.
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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.
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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.
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As protesters moved from Southlake Mall towards I-65, police used tear gas to try and stop the movement.
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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."
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"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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Rev. Rod Reed leads a gathering of protesters in song on Sunday in Griffith's Central Park. Video by John Luke.
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Demonstrators protest Sunday at Lake Station City Hall.
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