Protestor Arrested For Assaulting City of Rockford Employee
I am all for peaceful protesting, but this is not it.
Earlier this week the City of Rockford announced they will no longer allow protestors to congregate outside of City Hall. Many of the protestors have been posted there since October. Until now, City officials have overlooked a number of violations of municipal codes but those days are done. Why? Because lately some of these protestors have crossed lines and have become a threat to innocent bystanders, city employees, and private contractors.
Recently, the rhetoric and actions of these individuals has escalated. Protestors have harassed, intimidated and threatened employees and private contractors coming in and out of the building and while performing their job duties.
The City of Rockford says protestors began "verbally berated employees from our contracted maintenance team, who were simply picking up trash that had been left by the protestors." It gets worse, last week, allegedly, protestors followed employees to their cars while verbally attacking them and prevented one from being able to leave the parking lot. This is absurd and will no longer be tolerated by the City.
Late last week the City of Rockford's Facebook account shared this,
We informed the protestors that they needed to remove their tents, furniture and themselves from the property by 1 p.m. While they did remove most of their items from City Hall by 1 p.m., our Public Works team, along with several officers, removed the tents that protestors would not agree to remove. One arrest was made while our team took down the tents.
On Monday, the situation escalated further, leading to a protestor being arrest for battery against a CIty of Rockford employee who was removing trash left behind by protestors
This afternoon, they were notified again that their continued presence on City Hall property will constitute trespass and subject them to further legal enforcement. During the interaction, one protestor was arrested for battery to a City employee engaged in cleaning the protestors’ items.
Now, future protestors will have to get a "special event permit" thanks to those who chose to harass, intimidate, and physically assault city employees who are doing their job.
Issuance of any permit will be contingent upon compliance with City ordinances and will prohibit harassing or intimidating City staff, contractors or other visitors to City Hall.
You can read the CIty's entire statement HERE.