Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cardinal Blase Cupich on Tuesday all embraced peaceful protest against George Floyd’s death and the systemic racism it has revealed, but decried widespread looting that is wrecking city and suburban neighborhoods.
“Our brother, George, was murdered,” said Cupich, the leader of the Chicago area’s 2.3 million Roman Catholics, speaking at a joint press conference at a new Washington Park apartment complex. “We should mourn; we should be angry and hurt. But we also should heed the wishes of the Floyd family and not dishonor his gentle memory by spreading the sickness of violence.”
Preckwinkle said she was pained and “dismayed” to see looting in and around Hyde Park, particularly at pharmacies.
“In many of our black and brown communities, we know that we have disportionate numbers of people who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, the things that make you particularly susceptible to COVID-19,” she said.
Without offering specific policy recommendations, Gov. Pritzker said the peaceful protests underscore the need for police accountability and criminal justice reforms.
“Real change, structural change, comes from protests paired with policy,” the Democrat said. “That means police reform with genuine investigations, transparency and accountability.”