George Floyd | WGLT

George Floyd

Woman celebrates
Alex Brandon / AP

After weeks of mounting tension during the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, observers in Bloomington-Normal expressed mixed emotions Tuesday after the guilty verdicts from a Minneapolis jury that heard testimony in the killing of George Floyd.

Person holding sign at protest
Jim Mone / AP

Communities of color battle with a loss of hope as they seek justice for the death of George Floyd, another Black man who died at the hands of a white police officer.

A March 22 jury trial is scheduled for a Bloomington man accused of hate crimes for allegedly riding his motorcycle into a group of protesters during a May protest rally in Bloomington.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A different judge will hear the majority of the criminal cases pending against more than 40 defendants charged with looting last summer that left several local businesses heavily damaged and injured police officers called to quell the civil unrest.

Linda Foster standing in front of mural
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Injustices to the Black community have gripped the nation for many months now. The creators of a new mural on Bloomington’s west side say they hope it will permanently remind people to continue the dialogue around racial injustice.

John Milhiser
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois

It’s not uncommon for the adrenaline to rise when a driver sees flashing red lights in the rearview mirror.  but the recent recurring incidents of officer-involved deaths in the U.S. has put a spotlight on how police handle all encounters with the public.

Speaker at Bandstand
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

The Black Lives Matter BloNo group held a public meeting Sunday that shared compassion and addressed some of the response to its list of policy demands.

Byron Craig

As violent images of the recent deaths of black citizens proliferate the media, some scholars and activists sense an opportunity to pursue lasting change.

Grid of commissioners

The Normal Human Relations Commission met this week to deliberate on how to make positive changes within the community.

Defund the Police signage
Ragan Clark / AP

Black Lives Matter BloNo said Wednesday it was disappointed in a social media post from the McLean County Democrats that called for reframing the “Defund The Police” debate away from the word defund.

Normal Police HQ
Staff / WGLT

Protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis have evolved into a national discussion about police reform. Some have called for defunding police departments and reinvesting that money in social programs. Others say the unions that represent police officers are themselves the biggest barrier to change.

Raised fist
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal police leaders say many of the reforms being proposed nationally in the wake of George Floyd’s death have already happened here, including a ban on chokeholds and increased emphasis on de-escalation training.

Defund the Police sign
Matt York / AP

Bloomington City Council member Jenn Carrillo says her view of “defund police” is a lot more nuanced than the term implies—but now is the time for the discussion.

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Recent looting in Bloomington-Normal and in many states since the death of George Floyd may have something in common with race riots of the 1960s.

Crowds holding signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 200 protesters gathered Monday night at Clearwater Park in east Bloomington and marched through nearby neighborhoods to speak out against racism.

Woman holds her cell phone wearing tee-shirt saying More Love, Love More
Tricia Braid

Heyworth business owner Tricia Braid said she was tired of scrolling through social media feeds and seeing many people doubting the media reports about the military use of tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protestors to clear Lafayette Plaza for the president to have a photo taken with the Bible.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and City Councilmember Jenn Carillo.
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner stressed public safety remains the city’s top priority while pledging to improve law enforcement practices. City Council member Jenn Carrillo advocated for a complete overhaul of police departments.

Police on the steps
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Illinois State University Police Chief Aaron Woodruff received only light applause Monday when he told a crowd in downtown Bloomington that he condemned the Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd.

Holding up signs
Breanna Grow

For Ky Ajayi, it hasn’t just been a long week. It’s been a long three years.

Georgia Nugent speaking at podium
Illinois Wesleyan University

Some students and alumni at Illinois Wesleyan say the university's delayed and muted response to George Floyd's death and calls for racial justice are the latest examples of what they have seen for years.

Rev. Brigitte Black speaking during virutal vigil

Faith leaders in Bloomington-Normal offered prayers for peace and justice during a virtual vigil Thursday as a show of racial solidarity.

Jeremy Butler

Whether you work in an office, drive a forklift or teach kindergarten, the more confident you are in your training, the better you’ll perform. Confidence can make it more likely you’ll try harder or conquer adversity. A lack of confidence can make you skittish and impair decision-making.

It’s the same with police officers.

Andrew Menssen photo
McLean County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

A 31-year-old Bloomington man faces preliminary charges of aggravated assault and battery after allegedly setting off a smoke bomb during a Black Lives Matter demonstration Wednesday night.

Justin speaks
Darnysha Mitchell / WGLT

A peaceful demonstration led in part by high school students was interrupted Wednesday when an agitator deployed what authorities called a harmless “smoke device,” in at least the second attempt to intimidate protestors in the past four days.

Justin and Jasmyn
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal organizers are looking to build on the momentum of four straight days of peaceful demonstrations against racism and police brutality. One of their greatest assets is a deep bench of young black leaders who have seized the moment and stepped forward.

Crowd marches
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Whenever an unarmed black man is shot in America, Ahmad Williams of Bloomington thinks about whether he will be next.

A 21-year-old Bloomington man was charged Tuesday with committing a hate crime and aggravated assault after allegedly driving his motorcycle through a crowd of demonstrators on Sunday.

Demonstrators hold signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 50 people marched through some of Bloomington’s more affluent neighborhoods Monday calling for justice and unity in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis.

Kohls exterior
Jimmy Beach / Facebook

Most of the people arrested in looting-related incidents Monday and Tuesday in Bloomington-Normal were McLean County residents, according to police and jail records.

Allen Chambers
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The crowd at Sunday’s racial justice rally in downtown Bloomington was huge and diverse—young and old, black and brown and white, veteran activists and first-timers.