Chicago-Area Protests: Grants for Businesses, Joliet Mayor to Address Controversy

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined a march in the south suburbs Monday night as protests continue following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

And for black-owned businesses in Chicago that sustained damage from looting in unrest that followed, there may be a new way announced Tuesday to get financial relief.

Also on Tuesday, the mayor of suburban Joliet is scheduled to speak after a controversial video shows him engaging in a physical altercation with a protester.

Here are the latest headlines on the protests and demonstrations continuing across the Chicago area:

Joliet Mayor to Speak After Filmed Confrontation

Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk is set to speak publicly for the first time since a controversial video surfaced showing him in a physical confrontation with a protester.

O'Dekirk will hold a press conference at the Joliet City Hall at 1 p.m. Tuesday to "give his determination of the events that happened."

In the video, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk is seen apparently wrestling with a demonstrator during a clash between police and protesters.

In the video, O’Dekirk is seen apparently wrestling with a demonstrator during a clash between police and protesters earlier this month.

Last week, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office asked the Illinois State Police to investigate the incident.

Activist to Announce $200K in Grants for Black-Owned Businesses That Were Looted

Chicago activist Ja'Mal Green and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives President David Doig were scheduled to announce more than $200,000 in grants available to black businesses that were looted in the unrest following the killing of George Floyd.

Green and Doig were scheduled to make the announcement at 1 p.m. in front of the Plano Vision Center located at 5401 S. Wentworth Ave., according to a statement.

Over the course of a week, Green and Doig said they raised the money from small donors, banks and philanthropists to distribute grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to each business based on their need starting this week.

The grants won't require any paperwork, the two say, and will be chosen based off pictures of damages incurred.

Pritzker to Join Roundtable Discussion

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was scheduled to join a roundtable discussion with state Sen. Andy Manar, aldermen, Pastor McJunkins and teen organizers of a Black Lives Matter march.

The discussion will take place at 12 p.m. at Union Baptist Church in Springfield, Illinois.

Organizations Call on Chicago Public Schools to Remove Police From Schools

Chicago Public Schools students, parents, social workers and several organizations planned to hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. to call on the district to remove police officers from schools and replace them with mental and behavioral health support staff.

The groups involved include Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, Community Organizing and Family issues (COFI) POWER-PAC IL, Southwest Organizing Project, Westside Health Authority, Chicago Freedom School, and the National Association of School Social Workers-IL, organizers say.

State Rep. LaShawn Ford and Ald. Roderick Sawyer planned to join the event, which organizers said will call on Lightfoot to reinvest funding spent on police in schools to "hire trained mental and behavioral health professionals and restorative justice practitioners with expertise in trauma-informed care, de-escalation, conflict resolution, crisis response, and other trauma-informed approaches."

Pritzker Joins Matteson March

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was one of several elected leaders who spoke at a gathering in support of the Black Lives Matter movement Monday in south suburban Matteson.

Sky 5 video over the scene at Victory Apostolic Church showed hundreds of people at the South Suburban March for Justice and Love, which organizers said sought to bring "attention to the nation’s challenges of racism and injustice."

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were among those who attended.

Hundreds rallied in south suburban Matteson Monday to call for justice following George Floyd's death. NBC 5's Trina Orlando reports.

4 p.m.: Naperville Black Lives Matter Protest

Dozens of marchers called for change as part of a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in west suburban Naperville Monday afternoon.

Video from Sky 5 showed several protesters uniting at an intersection as they demanded an end to racial injustice and police brutality.

Lightfoot Says Reforms to Be Announced

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appeared on "Kasie DC" on MSNBC Sunday night, promising new police reforms to be announced.

"I’m hoping that we're going to announce soon some pretty monumental reforms that we pushed for and we've won, and to set the stage for what I know is going to be a long fight around police reform," Lightfoot said, highlighting police contracts as "a significant part of the problem."

"We've got to get unions to understand that they've got to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem," she continued.

"First of all, we've got to speak our values through these contracts. We've got to lay out a very clear set of principles around reform and accountability and not allow the extraordinary due process that police officers get to be a road block to accountability," Lightfoot added.

Contact Us