Message with momentum: Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Naperville draws crowd


Katie Dalton

Protesters cross Jackson Avenue on Washington Street in downtown Naperville during a Black Lives Matter rally on June 4.

CT Staff

Organized in part by recent Central grad Indya Smith-Johnson, the fourth protest rally and third in downtown Naperville in a week remained a peaceful affair, focused on its message on the day of the first memorial service for George Floyd. The rally followed events at Rotary Hill and Cantore Park over the past weekend and a downtown protest march on Monday that slid into violence and vandalism after nightfall.

The crowd, which included a large number of teenage protesters, listened to speeches from several members of the NAACP as well as testimonials from local black students and a message from Benny White, the first African American to hold a seat on Naperville’s city council.

The full story can be found in the video produced by CT’s video editor Katie Dalton:


Also included here are a selection of photos taken during the June 4 event by correspondent photographer Braeden Schmidt.

One of the stop signs in downtown Naperville contains an addendum, courtesy of a demonstrator. (Braeden Schmidt)


Boarded-businesses in downtown Naperville, both those shuttered for precaution like the Apple Store on Jefferson Street and those damaged during a June 1 protest, are now decorated with messages on hearts. (Braeden Schmidt)





Roughly 68% of Naperville’s population is white. Many protesters, like this one, reflected this in the messages of support for the black community written on their posters. (Braeden Schmidt)
Marcus Towns, a member of the organization Unity Partnership, addresses the crowd gathered near the Riverwalk in downtown Naperville. (Braeden Schmidt)


City of Naperville vehicles are used to create boundaries for the June 4 protest march. (Braeden Schmidt)