WINNEBAGO CO., Ill. (WTVO) – Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross addressed the arrests of protestors Saturday afternoon.
We asked why protesters were handcuffed at the latest demonstrations, but not at events in the past. Hite-Ross said police knew of previous protests ahead of time, which allowed officers to block traffic as protestors marched and lied down on the streets.
However, the difference this weekend she said came down to protestors refused to comply with law enforcement orders.
“Individuals were advised prior to any arrests being made that they were to disperse,” said Hite-Ross. “They did not disperse and impeded traffic, so that is the difference.”
Police Chief Dan O’Shea also addressed the protestors. He said he supports everyone’s right to protest, as long as they do so peacefully. But, he said anti-police protestors are becoming increasingly, “militant.”
“The citizens of Rockford, the businesses of Rockford have been more patient over the last couple of weeks, actually months, of tolerating people who want to push the envelope right to the end,” said O’Shea. “Now, they’ve crossed the line and they’re going to get arrested.”