Updated: Jun 5
PEACEFUL AFTERNOON PROTEST LEADS TO NIGHTTIME DESTRUCTION BY CRIMINALS
This morning west suburban Chicago is waking up again to news about overnight looting and destruction in a community that is close to them. A peaceful protest was held in Naperville on Monday afternoon when Naperville’s Mayor Chirico walked with the group and kneeled to honor the life of George Floyd. NCTV-17 provided coverage of the event on its facebook page, where thousands watched live.
The protest walked through the streets of downtown, heading west on Aurora Avenue, concluding at the Naperville Police Department. Protesters, including a Naperville Central High School student, spoke about living as a black person in Naperville and just how hard this has been. Mayor Chirico, along with other city officials, listened intently and also spoke to the crowd, promising to work together towards change, sharing with the protesters the many promising changes that have already occurred in recent years to unite the community, including the hiring of 45+ minority police officers since Mayor Chircio was elected.
As dusk set in, a new group of protesters started to arrive to the downtown area, with many wearing masks and backpacks. As they walked, holding signs and chanting loudly "F*** The Police" and "Black Lives Matter", the group was being recorded by several non-protesters, as well as local media outlets, including Radioman911 while Naperville Police strategically remained situated, holding shields, ready to protect the community as needed.
There was a tension in the air and as the night went on, and although things started out non-violent, instances of hostility and looting eventually occurred, including smashing windows at Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Pandora, LUSH, Barnes and Noble and, GAP and other downtown businesses. Shops were looted such as Pandora and LUSH. A garbage can was lit on fire in front of Hugo's Fro Bar. Though the city was under attack, many businesses, including Hugo’s and The Apple Store were boarded up in anticipation of a violent evening, which seemed to thwart the criminals intentions as they walked by each location.
Naperville Police Department released a statement stating that numerous arrests have been made, and that a full damage assessment is in progress.. One person was stabbed by another in the group of protesters and was transported to the hospital. The statement read that this incident is currently being investigated
One woman, Mabel, who is a Naperville resident shared her very raw account of living as a black woman in Naperville, asking "why they hate us so much" and sharing that we are all human, all equal. Her story touched many viewers in the comment feed.
This criminal activity followed a much more violent night in Aurora on Sunday where out-of-town criminals lit a police vehicle on fire, broke into businesses, looted merchandise, vandalized buildings, ruined private property and ultimately burned down a Dollar General and another long-standing local business that meant so much to so many locally. One of the local businesses that was broken into is My Daughter’s Dress Boutique, a non-profit dress shop that offers beautiful, high-end formal gowns and accessories at very low prices to help those in need. Glancer Magazine featured her shop in our To Give, To Inspire column last month. The shop recently moved to 221 W. Galena in Downtown Aurora from Oswego.
Many believe these people who are committing criminal activities are not from the towns that they are inflicting such destruction on, but coming in to hijack peaceful protests, creating unrest in these communities. Many reports in social media indicate that looters are brought by bus or rental trucks. One viewer posted that she heard a warning on a police scanner to look out for U-Haul trucks dropping off looters in nearby neighborhoods. Many believe these are traveling criminals who are part of something orchestrated and synchronized.
Communities are encouraging residents where peaceful protests are being planned to be vigilant and on alert for these types of hi-jacking scenarios. On Wednesday, a peaceful protest is being planned in Batavia.
ALL DUPAGE COUNTY
Photo + Video Credit: RadioMan911.com