Supporters of the Desmond Clark family held a vigil after the former Chicago Bears star and his wife were charged over an incident at Vernon Hills High School.
The vigil was held Wednesday afternoon near the school to “pray for students and families who have suffered from isolation due to racism in their own communities and schools,” according to a news release from his publicist.
Clark and his wife face misdemeanor charges over an Aug. 9 incident at Vernon Hills High School, according to police.
Vernon Hills police said warrants were obtained for the former athlete and his wife Maria. The two turned themselves in, posted bond and were released.
Desmond Clark faces a disorderly conduct charge, while his wife faces charges of disorderly conduct and assault, according to police. Both are due to appear in court on Oct. 2 in Waukegan.
Frank Avila, an attorney representing the two, said their son has “been enduring several racist incidents” for years, and that students have been calling him “racial slurs and racist statements.”
Avila claims an administrator called the couple’s son a “criminal and demeaned him verbally.” The attorney said Mrs. Clark approached the administrator, who is now “falsely charging Mrs. Clark with assault.”
Avila added that Desmond Clark was falsely charged with disorderly conduct for making an “impassioned speech against racism and the maltreatment of his son."
The school district released an open letter about the incident, saying that it is "committed to addressing parent concerns and questions through appropriate forums,” according to The Chicago Tribune.
"(The district) will continue to provide a safe and secure environment for all students, staff and parents during school and at all school events,” the letter read, according to the Tribune. “The district will also remain committed to addressing parent concerns and questions through appropriate forums."