From our sister news station 1340 WJOL in Joliet:
WJOL has obtained a video that shows Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, a former Joliet police officer, physically confront an individual during the civil unrest on Sunday night. WJOL has received the following statement from the mayor.
Be warned, there is a lot of profanity.
“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 theright 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.”
The Mayor appeared with WJOL morning show host Scott Slocum earlier today to explain what happened.