Aurora’s mayor, police chief and business owners responded to a night of protests and unrest in the city’s downtown.
Mayor Richard Irvin held a press conference via Facebook Live and says he understands the hurt and outrage over the recent death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man taken into custody in Minneapolis last week. But he says he draws the line at looting.
“At that point it was not a protest for the life of George Floyd," Irvin said. "It became an opportunity for others to take advantage of the situation, to insert themselves into the crowd, to incite those who may have been there for good initially.”
Harish Naidu’s property was damaged after the protests. He says he is grateful for the outpouring of support he’s seen since then.
“...Hundreds of volunteers who were here helping clean up everything," Naidu said. "And, [there were] people handing out donuts, coffee, [and] chicken sandwiches. That should tell everyone something.”
Mayor Irvin estimates the total damages to downtown Aurora are around $3 million.
A curfew imposed on the city Sunday night will continue through Tuesday morning and entrance ramps near Aurora on Interstate 88 will remain closed.
On Monday afternoon, Aurora residents received an automated call from Aurora Police asking them to avoid the area around the Fox Valley Mall due to potential protests.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.