Rockford Police arrest 18, condemn acts of vandalism

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 9:09 AM CDT
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Rockford Police arrested 11 people Saturday and 7 more Sunday after weekend protests, with charges ranging from looting to aggravated assault of a police officer.

Police Chief Dan O'Shea said there would be more patrols on the streets Sunday night into Monday morning, as city and county leaders stress there is no place for this destruction in Rockford.

"That behavior will absolutely not be tolerated," said Winnebago County State's Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross.

17 businesses in Rockford filed police reports for burglary and damaged property from this weekend's protests.

"You would dare have the audacity to vandalize the District 1 Police station in your community, which has been a community center as well for our children," Hite-Ross said.

The protests started peacefully Saturday to honor George Floyd and demand justice for black lives lost. However, a group took matters a step further by vandalizing and looting.

"A lot of their anger is directed at the police, we understand that, and we try to give people their space," said Chief O'Shea. "Rockford is better than what has happened in the last couple days, this city is a much better city than what's been happening."

Charges range from looting to aggravated assault of a police officer. Local leaders say the violence is not welcome, and takes away from a greater message.

"Those who use the somber moment of the Floyd family to exploit the peaceful protest of other community members will be held accountable," said Hite-Ross.