Mayor, police chief speak out after sign set on fire in front of Goshen home

GOSHEN, Ind.—Goshen’s mayor and police chief released statements Friday after a resident’s protest sign was set on fire outside of her home, according to the city.

On Thursday night, Goshen Police and Fire personnel were called to a home in the 200 block of S. Main Street for reports that one of the resident’s signs was on fire.

The sign was “dangerously close to the resident’s house,” the city said, and a witness pulled the sign away from the house before calling 911.

The city said that the woman had been using her right to protest and had experienced multiple forms of harassment over the last few weeks.

Officials did not say what the sign said or depicted. 

Mayor Jeremy Stutsman issued the following statement regarding the incident:

“We need to find a way to come together as a community. I understand we are living in a time when emotions are running high, but we can’t allow senseless acts of harassment and criminal behavior to threaten someone’s safety. There is no room for this in our society or our community. We need to stop being so angry about how others feel about one issue or another. Everyone has a right to their voice and to their safety. If you disagree with others, take the time to have a conversation and respectfully share your opinions. You never know, you both may just learn something new.

My administration and the Goshen Police Department will continue to do all we can to stop criminal activities before they happen. If a crime is committed we will do all we can to arrest the individuals responsible for committing said crime.

No matter how you feel on the issues being discussed, senseless acts of violence make no one safer. In fact, they instill fear, put others in danger and cost both private individuals and the community money. We will not stand for this in Goshen.

I would like to thank the individual who acted quickly to protect the occupants and home they live in. If anyone has information related to this criminal act, please contact the Police Department.”

Goshen’s police chief, Jose Miller, included the following comments:

“As the Chief of Police, I believe in the rights of all individuals to peacefully assemble and to exercise their constitutional right for freedom of speech, I believe this should be done with mutual respect for each other without biases based on differences of any kind. I’ve always been proud of Goshen for their efforts promoting diversity and inclusiveness.

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