Mayor statement on demonstrations

Statement from Mayor Tom Henry on this past weekend’s protests and demonstrations in the City of Fort Wayne

The City of Fort Wayne continues to mourn as we remember George Floyd and the injustice that led to his tragic death in Minneapolis last week. We’re also saddened by the hurt and pain that we know our fellow minority citizens experience when these incidents make their way to the center stage of our country. Racism has always been wrong, still is wrong, and should never be tolerated. This past weekend, our community experienced several protests and demonstrations in response to the tragic passing of Mr. Floyd. Some of the events were peaceful while others became aggressive and violent.

The Fort Wayne Police Department and partner law enforcement agencies had to make difficult decisions that they believed were necessary to maintain order and the overall safety of all residents. I know concerns have been expressed about the actions of public safety personnel. I support the work that they did. The techniques that had to be used are no reflection on and not in opposition to the message that was trying to be conveyed by protesters.

I want all residents to know that the Fort Wayne Police Department and my Administration support peaceful protests and demonstrations. It’s important for individuals to be able to express their beliefs, feelings, and concerns, especially towards injustices. Today, I hurt along with so many in our great community as we come to grips with the real pain that so many are experiencing. It’s critical for all of us to come together united with a commitment to gaining a better understanding of the divisions in our city, state, and country. We’re now presented with the opportunity to reflect and move forward to determine how we can unify around one another to prevent traumatic incidents from happening in our city. Open dialogue and trust will help us get to where we need to be.

Please continue to pray for Fort Wayne, our country, and the family of George Floyd. We will learn and grow from the events of the past several days. Fort Wayne is a city like no other. By working together, we’ll be a stronger and more caring and giving community. It will take some time and healing, but I have no doubt that our best days are ahead us.

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