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Local News

Another Joliet protest planned Monday evening

Another demonstration was planned for Monday evening at the same Joliet intersection where a protest turned violent the night before.

Joliet police said they will enforce an 8 p.m. curfew that was ordered Monday by the mayor.

"The curfew is another tool for us to do what we need to do," Police Chief Al Roechner said. "I would urge the citizens of Joliet if you do not need to go out to stay home."

The demonstration was scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Larkin Avenue.

Ten stores were looted into the night on Sunday in what Mayor Bob O'Dekirk called a coordinated effort. Twenty-four people were arrested.

"This was not just a group of people who lost control," O'Dekirk said Monday at a press conference to review the events of the night before and plans for the future.

"I just want to assure the people of Joliet that we will keep law and order in Joliet," the mayor said.

O'Dekirk said city officials have contacted the governor's office to bring the National Guard to the Joliet if needed.

O'Dekirk said events on Sunday began with two peaceful protests – one downtown and the other at the corner of Jefferson and Larkin. But at about 7:30 p.m. people on the corner began going onto the street and trying to block traffic, he said.

Both gatherings were held to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Demonstrators began throwing rocks, water bottles and M-80 fireworks at police as a confrontation developed, he said

One of the leaders of the demonstration "began pleading with the crowd, asking them to stop doing this," O'Dekirk said. "She was met with a barrage of obscenities."

Demonstrators broke out in two directions, setting fire to a small grocery on West Jefferson Street, the mayor said.

Others went to the Louis Joliet Mall, where damage was done to building exteriors. O'Dekirk said the mall was never entered. But looters did get into the Target store on Plainfield Road.

At the North Ridge Plaza on Larkin Avenue, several stores were vandalized.

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