Indiana Borough police have opened an investigation into a rally staged Thursday on Philadelphia Street as a violation of an emergency ban on gatherings of more than five people.
An estimated 30 to 50 people protested against COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions imposed by the state on commercial activity, mainly a ban on operation of salons and other personal services, in place since mid-March.
At the same time, as the outbreak began to surge in the U.S., Indiana Mayor George Hood declared a state of emergency and prohibited gatherings of five people or more on borough-owned property. The borough council extended the emergency restrictions until May 31.
Protesters congregated Thursday on the sidewalk of the 800 block of Philadelphia Street, reportedly after being denied a permit to gather on the grounds of the county courthouse.
“This gathering, albeit peaceful, was in violation of Indiana Borough’s emergency declaration and Council Resolution 2020-R2,” according to a news release issued today by the police department.
“Many photographs were made public and the protest was well documented. This incident and investigation remain open.”
Police did not say what action, if any, might be taken against those found to be in violation.
“We are committed to open lines of communication and discussion with all residents and are committed to constant dialogue that focuses on enhancing the quality of life of all citizens,” the unattributed statement read.
“All residents are again reminded that Indiana Borough’s emergency declaration through Resolution 2020-R2 remains in effect until (Sunday) unless otherwise rescinded or extended.”