South Bend police, protesters clash at 'tent city' homeless encampment

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 2:54 PM EDT
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South Bend police and protesters clashed at the "tent city" homeless encampment downtown Tuesday afternoon.

Residents had been given until 10 a.m. to remove their belongings and leave the site at S. Michigan and Monroe streets.

Ultimately, one resident and two activists were arrested.

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski spoke with us after the protest ended.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller released the following statement Tuesday:

“Today’s actions were unfortunate but necessary for the health and safety of our community. The encampment grew rapidly with increased calls for service to SBPD and reports of fights, illegal drug use and other issues.

"The City provided more than 72 hours to clear the site ahead of this morning’s deadline, and I’m proud of how our men and women in the Department of Code Enforcement and Police Department took on this very difficult task.

"My administration will continue to work on solutions, both short and long term, to alleviate the complex issue of homelessness in South Bend. I am hopeful our well-intentioned advocates work with us on solutions. The City cannot encourage or turn a blind eye toward unmanaged, large encampments because of the compounding health and safety issues they generate.”

This is a developing situation. Stay with 16 News Now for updates.

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