PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Just before 9:00 p.m. Saturday, reports came in of a protest starting at the Wal-Mart located on University Street in Peoria.
You can watch the video below of our live coverage beginning at 9:15 p.m.
Protesters met in the parking lot honking their horns, chanting over bullhorns, protesting peacefully.
From our perspective, police remained calm and protesters (for the most part) left members of the media alone.
Chants broke out from protesters yelling at the police, but the protests did not get violent.
After protesters dispersed from the Peoria Wal-Mart, reports came in over the police scanner of possible groups going to the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, Best Buy, and eventually the Wal-Mart on River Rd. located in East Peoria.
WMBD sent crews to all locations while broadcasting live on WMBD News at 10 alerting viewers of the potential protests.
When it was confirmed by police protesters were making their way to the East Peoria Wal-Mart, we sent our crews there to continue coverage both on-air and online.
You can see continued coverage below.
Protests began to get more tense at the East Peoria Wal-Mart around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
We continued our coverage on-air with a live report from Darronte Matthews.
East Peoria Police Chief Steve Roegge says protesters threw bricks at officers twice, which was followed by pepper bullets being deployed.
“People have the right to protest, but when we start to have projectiles thrown at officers on scene, we have to have some dispersement of the crowd,” Roegge added.
Chief Roegge says no officers had been hurt as of 11:12 p.m. Saturday night.
He says no members of the crowds had been reported injured either.
Protesters made a ‘cart line’ between them and police.
“They made the cart line, we had no problem with it, as long as they weren’t using the carts to push into us,” Chief Roegge said.
It is unknown of Wal-Mart will be open tomorrow.
You can see Chief Roegge’s full interview below.
We will stay on top of coverage and update this story.