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Protesters to block traffic in Crystal Lake

Protesters will intermittently block traffic near Crystal Lake's downtown area Friday, marking the sixth day of demonstrations protesting the May 25 death of George Floyd.

The two-day peaceful protest will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, when people are expected to gather at the Crystal Lake Avenue and North Walkup Avenue intersection behind The Cottage in Crystal Lake.

Every 20 minutes, protesters will move from the sidewalks to the crosswalk and kneel for seven minutes as a tribute to the amount of the time Floyd spent pinned to the ground by white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Following the protest, the group will return to the Depot Park gazebo for speeches, according to a Facebook event page created for the demonstration, which organizers expect to be peaceful.

"All are welcome to a two-day peaceful protest advocating for justice and change and mourning the loss of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives to police brutality," administrators wrote. 'This is a protest to stop white silence and give the black members of our community a voice and the opportunity to speak up."

The protest organizers, Jesse Scherb, Noah Middaugh, D.C. Smith and Jamie Smuda, have asked attendees to remain on public property, wear a mask, bring water, and refrain from touching any vehicles.

Crystal Lake Police addressed the protest on their Facebook page on Thursday.

"There have been a number of inquiries about a potential protest in Crystal Lake planned for June 5th and June 6th, 2020," they wrote. "Earlier this week we were notified about a group wanting to protest/gathering in honor of George Floyd. They asked to meet with the Crystal Lake Police Department to ensure they had a peaceful event.

"This group plans to meet on the above listed dates at 11:30 a.m. Crystal Lake Avenue and Walkup. Crystal Lake Police Department anticipates nothing but a peaceful event regarding the unjust death of George Floyd. Police are prepared in the event any individuals or groups choose to act in a way not in accordance with the law."

The demonstration will continue Saturday, when protesters are expected to march to The Crystal Lake Municipal Building.

Floyd's death sparked outrage and protests throughout the nation. McHenry County so far have remained peaceful, despite looting and vandalism occurring in other suburban Chicago cities.

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