1 Arrested in Protest at Hotel Where Teen Was Found Dead in Freezer

One person was arrested Friday during a protest outside the Rosemont hotel where a woman was found dead inside a freezer earlier this month.

A large group of demonstrators gathered around 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to demand justice in the case of Kenneka Jenkins.

The 19-year-old Chicago woman was found dead inside a freezer on Sept. 10 after authorities said she attended a room party at the hotel.

Police said surveillance video showed Jenkins wandering into the freezer alone, though family members – who took part in Friday’s protest – said they have yet to see that footage, and they want answers.

“We’re in this together. It’s not about a race, color; we’re in this together,” said Jenkins’ cousin Melannie Williams.

Williams was among those demonstrating outside the hotel, which has seen protests nearly each night since the incident occurred.

Police said Friday’s event drew up to 400 people and was peaceful until around 10 p.m., when officers went to end it as they have done each night. Rather than dispersing, authorities said the group instead swarmed River Road, the street in front of the hotel.

Around 10:30 p.m., protest organizers said a man in the group was aggressively taken down and struck by police before being arrested.

“The way they grabbed him, they swarmed him, many, many officers, many uniformed, heavily uniformed officers swarmed him and we could not get a clear visual once he got up off that ground we don’t know what kind of state he’s in,” said community activist Jedidiah Brown.

Police said they have one person in custody in connection with the incident, but did not release any further details.

Authorities can charge the man within 48 hours, but as of Saturday morning, no charges had been filed in the incident.

Activist Eric Russell said he arrived to bail the man out at around 5:45 a.m., but the paperwork wasn’t completed.

Protest organizers said they’re working with attorneys in the case, and another demonstration is expected outside the hotel Saturday night.

Contact Us