Following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25, protesters gathered at the Market Place Mall on May 31, and 26 people were subsequently arrested by the police on a variety of charges, such as burglary, criminal trespassing and mob action.
According to jail documents, of the 26 people booked, 24 were black and 2 were white. The age range spanned from 18 years old to 35 years old. The median age trended on the younger side – 24 years old. Fourteen of of those arrested were male and 12 were female.
The looting targeted stores in the Market Place Mall in Champaign, and continued through the night in the North Prospect business area. The stores included Gordmans, Piccadilly Liquors, Circle K, and Best Buy. A few businesses in other parts of the community were also vandalized or burglarized.
Of those arrested, Champaign County was the primary residence. Most were local, with 22 people coming from the cities of Champaign, Urbana and Rantoul. Only one individual was out-of-state, providing a residence of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the remaining 3 came from other counties in Illinois.
According to jail documents, at least 10 of the men were transferred to Piatt County jail, while the rest of those arrested were housed in the satellite jail on Lierman Ave. in Urbana. All of those arrested shared the same block and cell, divided by sex.
In addition, Shamar N. Betts, a Champaign resident, was arrested in association with Market Place Mall’s looting and vandalization on Friday, June 5, and charged with inciting a riot. The 19-year-old posted on Facebook, “We gotta put Champaign/Urbana on the map – expletive – gone hear and fear us too. Slide let’s get busy Justice for George – expletive.”
Betts was arrested in Mississippi and is expected to make his first court appearance in a Mississippi federal court. He will face up to five years in prison if convicted of inciting a riot.