Protests continue in Champaign

By Samantha Boyle and Salem Isaf

Several businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area were the target of looters in response to the growing protests that began last week in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd.

On Sunday afternoon Target, Meijer, gas stations, liquor stores, Market Place Mall and a pawn shop were looted.

At Target, police chased people away from the store, but eventually the looters broke the windows and got in.

At about 6:15 p.m., a group of protesters gathered in the intersection of Prospect and Town Center, blocking traffic. They marched to the side of the road by 6:30 p.m.

Around 7 p.m. Sunday, Champaign Police Department also issued a few road closures “in the interest of public safety.”

Closures include Kankakee Drive at Anthony Drive, Prospect Avenue at Marketview Drive, Neil Street at Anthony Drive and Market Street at Kenyon Road. CPD stated on Facebook that more road closures may be announced.

A curfew for 8:30 p.m. in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy has been set until 6 a.m. Monday. Essential workers are exempt.

Protests continued throughout the day including one on the corner of Second and Green streets, blocking the north side of Second Street.

The protesters on Green Street marched down to the intersection of Green and Sixth Street where they kneeled in the street and chanted, “I can’t breathe; no justice, no peace.” One of the protest leaders said that they kneeled for the amount of time that ex-Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of George Floyd’s neck.

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