NCTV17 was live in Downtown Naperville this afternoon for a peaceful protest organized by Indya Smith-Johnson and Sophia Davila. You can watch the feeds from the protest below, and read some moments of note, documented as the day progressed.
[5:35] Regina Brent, president of the Unity Partnership of Naperville, calls for a final moment of silence in honor of George Floyd. Many officers raise their hands to signify they support the moment of silence. She asks protesters that as they leave, they chant their way out of this city “George Floyd, rest in peace.” The group then disperses peacefully.
[5:32] Protesters remain at the corner of Jefferson and Washington, asking police to take a knee. Many have dispersed, but some that had moved over to Chicago Avenue are now rejoining those by the officers. The protesters themselves have kneeled.
[5:20] Protesters chant “show you care” to officers, asking them to take a knee in support. About 70 – 80 protesters remain on corner of Jefferson and Washington.
[5:17] One protester speaks out, saying to officers, (paraphrased) we want to work with you, we want to be with you – cannot do that until you strive to change. I do not want to be at risk every time I drive to work – every time I go home from school. I do not hate you – I do not despise you, but I demand change, I demand a difference – and I think it’s safe to say we all do.
[5:09] Protesters take a knee and fall silent for 8 minutes and 45 seconds of silence – the amount of time Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee pinned on George Floyd’s neck.
[5:07] Indya Smith Johnson speaks to the protesters saying it has been a fantastic day of peaceful protest. She says that by staying to the sidewalks, and continuing to use their voices, they are making great momentum in this movement. She asked that to keep these good efforts going, after the 8 minutes and 45 seconds of silence protesters are about to take, they should disperse peacefully, or this is all for nothing.
[4:58] Organizer Indya Smith Johnson is asking protesters to stay off the street. She’s reminded everyone this is a peaceful protest, and to disperse by 5:30 p.m.
[4:40 p.m.] Protesters have lined the sidewalks on Washington St. between Chicago and Jefferson in downtown Naperville. Businesses in the area have been seen preemptively boarding their storefronts to protect from potential looting.
[4:20 p.m.] Organizers plan to line Jackson and Webster to continue peacefully protesting before dispersing at 5:30 to ensure the current crowd can not be implicated in any looting or violence that may or may not take place afterwards.
[3:40 p.m.] The organizers turned the platform over to other community activists to speak to the crowd.
[3:30 p.m.] Ms. Smith-Johnson, a 2020 grad of Naperville Central, took her place at the podium to address the crowd gathered at the corner of Jackson Ave. and Webster St.
[3:00 p.m.] Organizers addressed the crowd before turning the forum over to City Councilman Benny White.