Male Protester Arrested after Ignoring Several Requests to Stop Block Street Near Galena Blvd and Stolp Ave, Aurora

On Friday evening July 3, 2020, a peaceful protest was being held at Millennium Park in downtown Aurora. Just before 7:45 p.m., a group of approximately 20 people started marching from the Millennium Park (PLaza) eastbound on East Galena Boulevard from North Stolp Avenue.

The downtown area was already busy due to the outdoor dining and social distancing requirements in place by the State of Illinois. As the group marched, they were blocking traffic, which started causing significant traffic backups. Drivers were attempting to drive around the group and turn around against traffic, causing a potential danger to the group marching and the general public.

An Aurora Police Department Sergeant arrived on the scene. Concerned for the safety of the group and the general public, the sergeant gave dispersal orders over a loudspeaker for the crowd to leave the street. The crowd was told they could march along the sidewalks.

A member of the crowd was also carrying a small child and was told that they would be charged with child endangerment if they did not leave the street and return to the sidewalk.

It is the policy of the Aurora Police Department to support and promote the exercise of individual rights, to fulfill its responsibility to uphold the law, to provide for the safety of public assembly participants as well as members of the public.

— Aurora Police Department

After a short time, all but one person dispersed from the street. A 30-year-old man was given additional orders to leave the street, but he continued to refuse and shouted expletives at officers.

Jose Garcia, age 30, was arrested and charged with Obstructing an Officer and Improper Walking on the Roadway.

Millennium PLaza is located on Stolp Avenue just southwest of Galena Boulevard on Stolp Island in Aurora.

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