Second peaceful protest in Warsaw draws large crowd to courthouse lawn

The crowd of protesters sitting on the southeastern lawn of the Kosciusko County courthouse. (Screenshot from NNW Facebook Live Stream/Nick Deranek)

Several hundred people showed up for the protest on the Kosciusko County Courthouse lawn on Wednesday afternoon, protesting the death of George Floyd.

Maria Medina and Ofelia Rios were the organizers of the demonstration. The protest allowed people to come share their stories, which included their experiences facing racial disparity. About a dozen people spoke overall, all of whom were of African American, Latino or biracial backgrounds.

An open microphone was offered to anyone who wanted to share their thoughts at the rally. Pictured is Elgin Smiley, who talked about how long nine minutes can feel. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union.

The last speaker was Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes, who thanked the crowd for a peaceful protest and “doing it the right way.”

Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes came out to speak to the crowd toward the end of the protest. (Screenshot from the NNW Facebook Live Stream/Nick Deranek)

Dukes mentioned that he, along with Warsaw Police Chief Scott Whitaker and Mayor Joe Thallemer will be having meetings with Hispanic and African American leaders in town to bring those groups and law enforcement closer together. Those three, along with Medina and Rios, also met Wednesday morning for two hours to discuss the protest.

This was the second protest in the last few days, with the last one taking place at Central Park on Saturday afternoon. That one only had about 100 people.

You can rewatch the protest in its entirety on the News Now Warsaw Facebook page.