Video is uncensored and may contain profanity.
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Hundreds of Rockford residents marched to raise awareness of police brutality Tuesday.
A protest organized by Rockford Youth Activism began at Haskell Park and started and ended peacefully, as demonstrators marched through downtown Rockford.
A second group split off from the first and later marched up E. State Street and back.
Rockford Youth Activism released the following statement just before 10 p.m.:
“The message at the protest was hijacked by people not affiliated with our organization. Please organize your own protest instead of coming to ours if you are trying to water down our message. We don’t want our demands of the city to be ignored now. This protest is not a rubber stamp for the city’s agenda. They have not answered any of our demands.”
Live blog of the first protest can be found here.
9:44 p.m. – Rev. Melvin Brown, of Rockford’s Kingdom Authority Church, spoke with protesters who remained at Haskell Park on Monday night.
9:30 p.m. – With a majority of the protesters dispersed, a remaining group had gathered to have an exchange about whether or not to riot tonight.
8:50 p.m – The group of protesters approximately 200 strong returned to Haskell Park after marching up and down E. State Street from the park to N. Prospect Ave, and then turning around toward downtown. There, members of the group had a dialogue exchange, some of which was captured below:
8:38 p.m. – Rockford Police moved in on the protest after witnesses said water bottles were thrown near the Winnebago County Courthouse. After a tense few moments, protesters continued west bound on W. State Street.
8:25 p.m. – The group stopped at E. State and Madison briefly to chant.
8:01 p.m. – The protesters broke off the eastward march around N. Prospect Street and turned back toward downtown Rockford, headed into oncoming traffic.
Protesters remained peaceful, but could be heard yelling “No justice, no peace, f— the racist police.”
7:53 p.m. – After a protest this afternoon at Haskell Park against police brutality, a group of protesters is marching up E. State Street in Rockford toward the Rockford Police District 3 Headquarters on New Towne Drive, according to people in the crowd.
The “March Against RPD Violence” protest began at 5 p.m. and concluded around 7 p.m.
A group which split off from the main group was seen walking down the center of E. State Street in an impromptu march which was given a police escort.