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Rockford Police make 17 arrests after protests on Friday and Saturday

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 3:02 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross, Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea and Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana announced charges against 17 people after protests that took place on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

WATCH LIVE: Rockford Police holds press conference following Friday, Saturday protests

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross, Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea and Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana are scheduled to hold a press conference at 3:00 p.m. Saturday. We're LIVE now.

Posted by WIFR TV on Saturday, August 1, 2020

At a press conference Saturday, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross says that all Americans have the right to peacefully assemble. She says, “The First Amendment is very clear. It does not give unbridled freedom to infringe on the rights of others.”

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana also says law enforcement will step in once the peaceful protests no longer are peaceful. “You have the right to protest, but the second that becomes unlawful…becomes criminal…we’re gonna stop that situation from happening,” Sheriff Caruana says.

This comes after several protesters were arrested at two different rounds of protests on Friday night and Saturday morning.

On Friday, several protesters blocked traffic on East State Street near the City Market Pavilion. This came after Rockford City Market organizers canceled this weeks market after other rounds of protests over the last few weeks. Several protesters, including abolitionist leader Leslie Rolfe were taken into custody. The arrests are listed below along with the charges stemming from the protests.

  • Elliot Dempsey, 22, charged with Mob Action.
  • Larissa Walston, charged with Mob Action.
  • Alison Lamantia, charged with Mob Action.
  • Scott Garwick, charged with Mob Action.
  • Stephen Tuite, charged with Mob Action and Resisting Arrest.
  • Terry Patterson, 45, charged with Mob Action and Resisting Arrest.
  • Martha Ebner, charged with Mob Action and Resisting Arrest.
  • Dylan Mitchell, charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest.
  • Dayna Schultz, charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest.
  • William Gettings, charged with Aggravated Battery, Disorderly Conduct, and Resisting Arrest.
  • Leslie Rolfe, charged with Mob Action and Obstruction of Police Officers.

Former Illinois Rep. Litesa Wallace raised money to help bond out those arrested Friday night.

On Saturday morning, more protesters were detained following the pro-police ‘Back the Blue’ rally at the Winnebago County Justice Center. The following individuals were arrested and face charges from the State’s Attorney’s office.

  • Anjanette Johnson, charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.
  • Joel Cochran, charged with Mob Action.
  • Brendan Rabitt, charged with Mob Action.
  • Samuel Cornn, 42, charged with Damage to Property and Resisting a Police Officer.
  • Michael Riggs, 20, charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest.
  • Catherine Sneed, 24, charged with Resisting a Police Officer.

“We’ve tolerated people who want to push it right to the line. And now, they’re going to get arrested. They’re going to continue to get arrested,” said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.

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