Press release: Mayor Issues Clarifying Statement on IU Arrests at Encampments

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian Sunday:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 28, 2024

For more information, please contact:

Justin Crossley, Digital Brand Manager, Office of the Mayor

[email protected] or 812-349-3406

MAYOR ISSUES CLARIFYING STATEMENT ON IU ARRESTS AT ENCAMPMENTS

Bloomington, Ind. – Today Bloomington Mayor Kerry Thomson released a statement clarifying remarks made on Saturday, April 27, in a video posted on the City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor Facebook page, regarding arrests made on the Indiana University campus. 


The statement reads:

“Bloomington, I’m coming to you today with an apology. I see now that my statement yesterday was less than clear, and that one statement in particular was harmful.  When I ran for office I committed to listening hard, and to admitting when I am wrong.  

In my message about the protests yesterday, I made a statement about the presence of outside groups.  We had reports of Proud Boys and other involvement, and I had concern about the possibility of escalation beyond what our students and faculty present on campus were gathered to achieve. This statement, I see now, pointed the finger in the way I had not intended. I am sorry. 

I also spoke of the need to remain peaceful in protesting and ensure de-escalation rather than use of force.  I was not clear in that statement: I was referring to the State police advance on peaceful protesters when I believe all routes to de-escalation had not been met. The purpose of my message yesterday was really intended to stand with the peaceful protesters and be clear that our police department—the Bloomington Police Department—would not be involved in advancing on the protesters. In fact, they advised against any such action. I see that was not clear, and I apologize for that as well. 

I met yesterday with a few students who told me they were part of the organizing group for the protest. I value their insights, as I do with all of our residents who take their time to engage. I appreciate responses to my thoughts, even when you disagree, and I’m particularly grateful to hear in this instance when my message had consequences I had not foreseen. 

I hope that in the future, there will be greater communication and collaboration with our team when Indiana University undertakes actions that affect all of Bloomington, not just campus. As I said yesterday, I stand with the protestors’ right to free speech, their right to assemble, and I ask that any future police involvement happens only when all de-escalation paths have been exhausted.”

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