ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford authorities announced charges against 17 people arrested at protests in downtown on Friday and Saturday.
“The First Amendment is very clear,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross, saying all Americans have the right to peaceably assemble. “[It] does not give unbridled freedom to infringe on the rights of others.”
On Friday, several protesters were arrested after blocking traffic on E. State Street near the Rockford City Market Pavilion.
“Individuals were infringing on the rights of others to have safe passageway on roadways within the county,” Hite Ross said.
Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana added, “You have the right to protest, but the second that becomes unlawful…becomes criminal…we’re gonna stop that situation from happening.”
City Market organizers had called off this week’s event after disruptions from protesters over the past several weeks.
Elliot Dempsey, 22, was charged with Mob Action.
Larissa Walston, 23, was charged with Mob Action and Aggravated Battery on a Public Way.
Alison Lamantia, 25, was charged with Mob Action.
Scott Garwick, 68, was charged with Mob Action.
Stephen Tuite, 37, was charged with Mob Action and Resisting Arrest.
Terry Patterson, 45, was charged with Mob Action.
Martha Ebner, 63, was charged with Mob Action and Resisting Arrest.
Dylan Mitchell, 26, was charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest Causing Injury.
Dayna Schultz, 23, was charged with Aggravated Assault to a Police Officer, Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest.
William Gettings, 22, was charged with Aggravated Battery, Disorderly Conduct, and Resisting Arrest.
William Gettings’ mugshot was not available.
Leslie Rolfe, 28, was charged with Mob Action and Obstruction of Police Officers.
Former Rep. Litesa Wallace bonded several protesters out of jail who had been arrested Friday night.
Wallace, a Democrat and former member of the Illinois House of Representatives, confirmed on Facebook that she was accepting donations to her cash app to pay for the inmates release from the Winnebago County Jail.
Anjanette Johnson, 43, was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.
Joel Cochran, 29, was charged with Mob Action.
Brendon Rabitt, 23, was charged with Mob Action.
Samuel Cornn, 42, was charged with Criminal Damage to Property and Resisting a Police Officer.
Michael Riggs, 20, was charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest.
Catherine Sneed, 24, was charged with Mob Action and Resisting a Police Officer.
“We’ve tolerated people who want to push it right to the line. And now, they’re going to get arrested. They’re going to continue to get arrested,” said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
“Officers showed tremendous restraint against actions that most people probably wouldn’t,” he added.
The protest groups are self-described “police abolitionist” groups who have staged demonstrations against alleged police brutality by the Rockford Police Department, specifically in response to arrests made at a riot outside of the District 1 Headquarters on May 30th. A police review board concluded the officers were within policy guidelines in their use of force that night.
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