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Black Lives Matter Protesters Block Traffic In Bloomington
Updated October 11, 2016 7:44 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Black Lives Matter protesters blocked traffic in downtown Bloomington during a Monday night demonstration.

Protesters blocked the intersection of Third and Lincoln streets, stopping traffic for about 30 minutes.

The demonstration started with speakers and a balloon release at IU's Sample Gates before hundreds of people stopped traffic by marching through downtown streets. The group started on East Kirkwood Avenue, turned onto College Avenue and moved to Third Street before blocking Third and Lincoln streets for about 30 minutes.

The Herald Times reports, the tensest moments of demonstration happened in front of the Bloomington police station on East Third Street, where frustrated motorists clashed with human blockades. Several vehicles attempted to drive around the protesters by cutting through a restaurant parking lot on the northeast corner of the intersection. Protesters flung themselves in front of the cars, banged on hoods and yelled at drivers.

One male driver, trying to travel east on Third Street, started to slowly drive into the crowd of people blocking his sport utility vehicle. Protesters shattered a portion of his windshield.

The demonstration ended after the crowd returned to Kirkwood and Indiana and blocked that intersection for a time before dispersing.

There was not a police presence during the demonstration or march.

The demonstrators are unsatisfied with the city police department's investigation into the October 2015 death of Joseph Smedley, a 20-year-old from Indianapolis who was a former Indiana University student. He was missing for about a week before his body was discovered in Griffy Lake.

Indiana University police and Bloomington police claim there was no foul play Smedley's disappearance or death. The Monroe County Coroner's Office ruled his death a suicide by drowning.

The Herald Times reports, Monday night's demonstrators also protested police action shootings of black men and women around the nation where officers faced no sanctions. They also spoke out against violence toward the transgender and other minority communities.

Members of several groups organized and spoke at the demonstration, including those involved with Students Against State Violence, the IU Black Student Union, IU's Black Graduate Student Association, the African Student Association, Students for a Democratic Society, Indy10 Black Lives Matter, IDOC Watch, GlobeMed and Btown Justice.



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