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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Mayor tackled to ground during George Floyd protest in Joliet

Joliet’s Mayor was thrown to the ground last Sunday during a demonstration in Joliet protesting to death of George Floyd.

The demonstration was at Jefferson Street and Larkin Avenue.  The Joliet Police Department announced the next day 30 people had been arrested overnight in connection with rioting and looting that followed the demonstration.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk is heard showing “go home” shortly before being pushed from behind by another protester, causing the Mayor to land on ground.  Joliet Police immediately swarmed the scene.

The Mayor himself is a former Police Officer. 

Mayor O’Dekirk issued a full statement on the event on social media:

“On Sunday afternoon, I had a great discussion with peaceful protesters who are justifiably angry about the death of George Floyd and were looking to participate in building a better understanding between minority members of the Joliet community and local government.

We were all working toward a common goal.

On Sunday night, after the peaceful protesters had made their views known and gone home, the looters, vandals and arsonists came out in force to disgrace themselves, their families and our community.

As a former Joliet Police officer and as the Mayor of Joliet sworn to uphold the laws our state and city, I was on the front lines with our police officers urging anyone disturbing the peace or engaging in criminal activity to go home. The general response was a cascade of verbal abuse followed by rock, bottles, bricks, fireworks and punches being thrown at police officers attempting to protect the peaceful citizens of Joliet.

I was confronted by a rioter, then attacked. Using standard police tactics to immobilize the attacker by separating him from the crowd and walking him backwards toward police officers, I was jumped from behind by a second attacker. They were arrested – unharmed – and are subject to a bond hearing and criminal trial. Unlike many Joliet first responders protecting Joliet that night, I was lucky enough to walk away with just a few bruises.

As Mayor of Joliet, I am calling on all of our citizens to stand together. We all should defend the right to protest. We all should condemn the violence that is engulfing our nation and state. And we should all do our part to promote the defense of our families, our homes, our local businesses, our community, and our mutual values as Americans.”

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