The Bloomingtonian

Press release from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office regarding the courthouse order

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office submitted the following press release to the Bloomingtonian, and other media outlets early Wednesday morning:

“”Date: June 10, 2020, 

            The Monroe County Sheriff acted on an executive order to enforce an existing ordinance that forbids persons from being on the property of the Monroe County Courthouse from 10:00 PM until 6:00 AM. 

For the past several days, people demonstrating against the murder of George Floyd have been on the courthouse property overnight; erecting tents, hammocks and other material and supplies to ensure 24 hour stays.   

During this time, the courthouse, sidewalks, and monuments have been marred with graffiti and slogans. Most of the vandalism was created with chalk. Some areas have paint on them.  Additionally; persons who seem to be homeless took over living in some of the tents, and have been staying on the property overnight was well. In the past week, human feces have been found in shrubbery of the courthouse lawn. Large sections of sheeting have blocked the stairs of one entrance onto the courthouse property. A hammock and other paraphernalia blocked passage on other sidewalks. 

Monroe County Commissioners issued the order to Sheriff Swain, to be in effect beginning June 9, 2020 at 10:00 PM directing the Sheriff to enforce the ordinance. The order further provided notice that any personal property left on the Courthouse property must be removed by 10:00 AM June 12, 2020. Any property still present would be removed to another location, where it can be claimed for a certain time. 

County attorneys and deputies had conversations with the demonstrators who were the initial group, and explained the situation. They were very cordial in those conversations. They said they would make efforts to honor the order and attempt to remove tents and some other items. 

Sheriff Brad Swain and twelve deputies presented themselves on the Courthouse property at 2:00 AM this morning. About thirty people were present and asked to leave. All of them complied. 

The tents had been removed by this time. All the persons present on the lawn, were instructed that they would need to move to the sidewalk which borders the property. 

    A small group chose to remain on the sidewalk through the night. Sheriff Swain and deputies stayed on the property until 6:00 AM to ensure no one during the restricted times. No arrests were made, and no acts of criminal behavior had been conducted during this event.  

    No media inquiries will be responded to until this afternoon. 

Submitted: Sheriff Brad Swain””

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