BLM

Tensions escalated during a “Back the Blue” rally held Saturday on the west side of Rockford. In all, 17 protesters were arrested at that and other events over the weekend. 

 

 

The rally drew hundreds of law enforcement supporters to the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center. Dozens of counter protesters also gathered to disrupt the rally.

 

The race for Illinois' 16th Congressional District pits a multi-term incumbent against a political newcomer in this November’s election.

The District stretches across 12 northern Illinois counties and has been represented by Republican Adam Kinzinger since 2012. He’s running as an incumbent this November but faces a challenge from Dani Brzozowski.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

This month, people across northern Illinois came together in Rockford to celebrate Juneteenth. They also used the gathering as an opportunity to protest police brutality. Rockford Youth Activism organized the event.

 

But what exactly is Juneteenth? Here is a brief history as told by those who gathered at Ellis Elementary on June 19th, 2020.

 

Those are the voices of Aija Penix, Laura Bates, Carolyn Cadigan, Aaron McAllen, Harlan Johnson, Toni Thomas, and Minister James Davis.

Jenna Dooley

 

Some DeKalb residents want the city’s Mayor Jerry Smith to be more specific on plans to address police brutality.  

 

The mayor spoke at a town hall Thursday night at Hopkins Park. The gathering was a forum on reforms related to justice and equality. Smith expressed support for its aims, but said he couldn’t talk details at the forum. 

 

Connie Kuntz

It's been more than two weeks since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in Minneapolis. One police officer is charged with murder and other officers face charges related to the death. Floyd's killing has spurred protests around the country including northern Illinois.

 

   

Perspective: Support BLM Like You Mean It

Jun 11, 2020
photographer unknown, in Scherer family collection

“Black Lives Matter” is not just an expression, it is a fundamental truism in any fair society. It's deeply resonant because of the inherent and systemic injustice and violence that remains prevalent, and particularly commonplace in police forces around the country. But racists, in their willful ignorance, just don’t see it. Most racists probably don’t even know that they are racists.

  

In 1903 W.E.B DuBois wrote “Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.” 

Connie Kuntz / WNIJ

Help was on hand for protesters attending the Rockford Youth Activism rally in Haskell Park Tuesday. In the 90 degree heat, volunteers on bicycles were ready with first-aid kits and handed out water and  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The group billed its event as a "March Against RPD Violence." That was in response to protests that turned violent in Rockford Saturday night, when protesters marched to the Rockford District 1 police station. Someone broke a window and Rockford police officers in riot gear surrounded the building.