City officials: Friday’s demonstrations peaceful, organizers “true to their word”



After walking to the north side of the overpass, the demonstrators walk southbound back toward the courthouse.



That was the word La Porte Police Chief Paul Brettin used Friday night in describing the demonstrations downtown La Porte witnessed earlier in the day.

With different groups responding to last week’s death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the subsequent looting, vandalizing — and sometimes rioting — in cities large and small across the country, there was the potential for trouble downtown.

It didn’t happen, Brettin told WNLP. On Thursday the chief joined Mayor Tom Dermody in a meeting with some of the organizers, who pledged to maintain the peace within their ranks — and Brettin said they did just that: “The organizers were true to their word.”

He did confirm that there had been several incidents of graffiti spray-painted on structures in the downtown area, mostly in the alleyways, overnight. The Republican Headquarters at 814 Jefferson Ave., for example, was targeted not only with spray paint on the front of the building, but also with incendiary drawings taped to the windows.

It was a group effort, Brettin said, in handling the day’s events, with Indiana State Police, La Porte County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan City Police assisting.


From WNLP’s Mike Kellems: 

Roughly 100 people gathered in front of the La Porte County Courthouse in downtown La Porte Friday afternoon to demonstrate as a part of the nationwide protesting over the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis last week.

The demonstration was largely peaceful and remained along the sidewalk on the south side of Lincolnway Avenue. About 4:30 p.m. the group walked northbound over the overpass and returned a short time later to the area of the courthouse.

Across the street on the southwest corner of Indiana and Lincon Way a pro-Trump group that had started to gather around noon shouted slogans and held signs for their own demonstration. La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody was seen speaking with both groups and encouraging peaceful demonstrations.


Most of the demonstrators were carrying signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, with a variety of other causes and a few U.S. flags. With the demonstration occurring during the evening commute, traffic was very heavy on Lincoln Way and the overpass with many cars honking their horns in support.

Several businesses closed early in anticipation of the larger crowds and the owners of one business, State Street Liquors, placed plywood over the windows for fear of looters or vandals.

There were eight to ten armed citizens standing in front of Maple City Sporting Goods, presumably to protect the business. Several other shop owners stood outside of their respective stores to watch as people walked past. By 6 p.m. most of the demonstrators began to leave the area. There were no reports of damage or disturbances that occurred during the demonstration.

Mayor Tom Dermody speaks with a demonstrator during the event.


Protestors pause on the overpass, heading southbound.


Riot gear leaning below the iconic courthouse Indian.


Photos courtesy Mike Kellems

12 Responses to “City officials: Friday’s demonstrations peaceful, organizers “true to their word””

  1. Walter Brath

    Jun 06. 2020

    What a nice day for a protest, the sun shone, the protesters were out in force both for and against and their voices were heard. I give congratulations to both sides for having a safe demonstration. Also a big congratulations to Mayor Dermody and Police Chief Paul Brettin for being out in the crowds talking to people. This made a big difference. The officers that were out there in the front lines you did a great job. Sheriff John Boyd and the State Troopers, Michigan City Police.
    This truly shows Mayor Dermody’s cry of “LaPorte Proud”. To the organizers of the demonstration you kept your word and got your message across.

    Walter Brath
    LaPorte City Police Chief, Retired

    Reply to this comment
  2. The Independent

    Jun 06. 2020

    Thank God, the charity open society didn’t bus in people in but I guess George Soros saves that for bigger cities. Remember all lives matter.

    Reply to this comment
    • HelenD

      Jun 06. 2020

      What’s the matter with you? Upset you couldn’t play cowboys and Indians?

      Reply to this comment
  3. sue

    Jun 06. 2020

    peaceful??? how about the delivery driver that had a water bottle thrown at their car? how about being able to hear them all the way down 2 blocks past the city police

    Reply to this comment
  4. Laura

    Jun 06. 2020

    I didn’t know Laporte had it in us! Go Laporte!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Patriot

    Jun 06. 2020

    All Lives Matter

    Reply to this comment
  6. Judi

    Jun 07. 2020

    We are so proud of you Mayor Tom, Chief Paul for all that you and others have done for the community of LaPorte to keep us safe. You are the best. Keep up the good work.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Donna

    Jun 07. 2020

    All life’s mater period!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Suzanne

    Jun 08. 2020

    I guess were not practicing “social distancing” any longer?

    Reply to this comment
  9. bob

    Jun 09. 2020


    Reply to this comment
  10. Deb

    Jun 13. 2020

    I’m weary of all the b.s. We should have known better decades ago . This whole thing is embarrassing . White people should be ashamed !

    Reply to this comment

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