U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Window of Indianapolis Star newsroom shattered during protests

Incident Details

May 30, 2020

A window on the door of the Indianapolis Star was shattered during protests against police violence in Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 30, 2020.

At 10:23 p.m., Indianapolis Star investigative reporter Ryan Martin posted on Twitter that the front door of the Star’s newsroom had been broken. The damage to the newspaper’s office in downtown Indianapolis came as violence and damage to other city businesses was reported.

The protests, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis on May 25, had been peaceful during the day, but tension grew in the evening, the Star reported. At around 9 p.m., police declared the remaining protest an unlawful assembly and told demonstrators to disperse. Soon after, the Star reported, police began using tear gas.

In a tweet at 9:49 p.m., Martin wrote that it was “getting really tense down here,” and mentioned broken glass and shouting.

Less than an hour later, he posted that the door window had been broken. “Chaotic stuff happening outside,” he wrote. A photo he shared on Twitter showed that the pane of glass had been smashed, scattering shards throughout the entryway.

Martin told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker in an email that someone had spray-painted the wall outside near the damaged door. He didn’t know how the window had been broken.

The intent of the damage was unclear. “To the average person, that door and wall could be mistaken for an entrance to Circle Centre Mall; not a newsroom entrance,” Martin wrote.

Indianapolis Star Senior News Director Ginger Rough didn’t respond to requests for additional comment. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department didn’t respond to an inquiry about the damage.

Protests against police violence and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been held across the United States since the end of May.

The Tracker is documenting several hundred incidents of journalists being assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas, or having their equipment damaged while covering these protests across the country. Find these incidents here.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].