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Protests erupt in Freeport as tensions escalate nationwide

FREEPORT (WREX) — Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Freeport on Sunday night, swarming around the courthouse in what appeared to be a chaotic night.

According to Stephenson County Chairman Bill Hadley, a group of people gathered peacefully earlier in the day as part of a rally for George Floyd, a black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. However, much like many of the rallies across the nation over the weekend, the one in Freeport also grew more chaotic as the night went on.

According to eye witness reports and social media posts, people gathered around the courthouse, throwing rocks and damaging the property in the area. People can also be seen in photos and videos posted online swarming the streets, chanting and yelling expletives.

Businesses in Freeport closed early in anticipation of a tumultuous night.

The scene in the city resembles other cities across the nation, as tensions rise in America for protesters who are demanding change when it comes to police brutality against the black community. On Saturday in Rockford, peaceful protests devolved quickly and ended in vandalism, looting and eventually tear gas by police.

Across the nation, businesses have been looted and burned. Police have opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas. Scores of protesters and officers have been injured. A dozen states have activated their National Guards, including Illinois for Chicago.

NBC News

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