Maybe I’m too pessimistic about the chances of looters being prosecuted in Cook County, but the following statement of Lake County’s policy by State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim says what, in my opinion, needs to be said:
Statement from Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim
(Lake County, IL) A statement from Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim regarding recent civil unrest and property damage/looting in Lake County:
As I indicated in my original statement last week, I strongly condemn the actions of the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and any acts of police brutality anywhere. My heart continues to go out to family of Mr. Floyd for their loss.
While I fully support people’s right to peacefully protest and demonstrate, acts of violence in Lake County will not be tolerated.
Overnight, there were several businesses in Waukegan and Lake County looted and damaged, and several police vehicles vandalized.
During this destruction, several people were arrested and charged with felonies that include burglary, looting and criminal damage to property.
I want to make it well known that the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will aggressively prosecute these offenders and anyone in the future who continues along this destructive path that threatens the safety of the people, law enforcement, or businesses of Lake County.
Protests are designed to bring about change, but criminal conduct like this deflects attention from these important conversations and positive changes.
Let me be clear: I fully support the constitutional right of people to peacefully protest.
However, we will enforce the law.
I join the people of Lake County in calling for peace.
From the Cook County State’s Attorney:
The State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in the city of Chicago, and throughout Cook County to again hold those accountable. Not protesters. I want to be clear. We conflate protesters and looters. So two different groups. Let us not conflate what is happening in our streets across the country with the bad acts of a few. And I know we know that language, because we’ve heard about bad acts of a few versus systems use the same rhetoric, when talking about those who are taken to our streets right now, and not conflate them with those who seek to do harm. [From Capitol Fax.]