A spokesman for the Bloomington mayor’s office says the death of a local man in the park inhabited by Occupy Bloomington protestors has not changed the mayor’s stance on the movement.
A report from the Monroe County Coroner’s office says a local homeless man died of natural causes early Saturday. Occupy Bloomington protestor Aaron Pollit was one of the first to discover the man.
“A fella came up to me at about 5:30 [a.m.], and he said that he thought that there was somebody dead that was in his tent,” Pollit says. “And, that was really surprising to me.”
Just past midnight Saturday morning, the man was given a place to sleep amidst the Occupy Bloomington protestors. According to longtime friend, Tim Michl, who currently resides in the tent city at People’s Park, the man was not part of the demonstration.
“The people here were trying to help out a guy who just kinda stumbled in here,” he says. “The people at the camp tried to put him up for the night. He was not regular resident here, but they tried to put him up and did what they thought was right.”
Mayor’s office spokesman Jared Schlemmer says the man’s death does not affect the city’s willingness to let the protest continue.
“It doesn’t change anything right now,” he says. “You know, the information we’ve been given so far is that the man wasn’t a part of the Occupy protests. As long as it remains a peaceful gathering of people then we’ll just take it day by day as long as allowing them to stay in the park.”
Calls to the coroner’s office for confirmation of the man’s identity were not returned Monday.