Imani Bazzell’s response to the City wrt Centennial protest

I appreciate these notices. My one concern about this one is that it’s clear you are pointing out the students broke the law by spilling out into the street without a permit; that you likely would have been happy to provide. The statement shows great tolerance of citizens expressing their first amendment rights.

What troubles me is, you note a person purposely drove a 3,000 lb killing machine through a crowd of kids as though this action was not at issue…what was at issue was a student who damaged a window in the vehicle that could have killed or maimed them and/or other children involved in learning about civic engagement.
Participatory democracy is a beautiful thing and I, for one, am proud and encouraged that our local high schoolers are joining young people across the country in speaking up to say, “this is my country too and in my country BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
Essentially, you share with us that you are willing to give the protesters a little “elbow room” in expressing their 1st amendment rights, but with your silence you imply it’s perfectly alright for a driver to express their disdain {they could have gone around like drivers all over the country are doing} by using their vehicle as a dangerous weapon to break it up.
I am not questioning your intention here, I am sharing my perception {shared by many who are blowing up the internet about it} of the implications and potential consequences.
I continue to appreciate your work and your time.
Imani Bazzell
Champaign Resident

Champaign Police Continue Investigation Following Student Protest

Public is encouraged to share information that might aid in investigation
The Champaign Police Department is currently investigating an incident that occurred at Centennial High School yesterday afternoon while students were participating in a “hands up, don’t shoot” protest.


At approximately 2:52 p.m., Officers responded to 913 Crescent Drive after being notified of an incident involving students in front of Centennial High School.  Once on scene, officers observed between 100-150 students standing in both lanes of Crescent Drive in front of the High School.

A preliminary investigation determined that a student protest had spilled into the street in front of the school.  As the protest continued in the street, a vehicle travelled through the student protesters.  As the vehicle moved through the crowd, at least one of the students struck the vehicle’s window and caused damage to the glass.


While investigating the incident, Champaign Police identified an 18 year-old student who was responsible for damaging the vehicle.  The student was initially taken into custody for Criminal Damage to Property and Mob Action.  However, after receiving additional information, the Champaign Police Department released the student, pending further investigation.


Detectives will continue reviewing all witness statements and videos surrounding this incident, in consultation with the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office.


Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Champaign Police Department by calling(217) 351-4545 or callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS.) Information can also be sent by anonymous web tip by going or by texting keyword “CCTIP” plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).


The Champaign Police Department is committed to ensuring that citizens can exercise their first amendment rights in a safe and peaceful manner.    Citizens who want to organize a protest are encouraged to contact the Champaign Police Department in advance of their event.  Through the City’s Special Event Permit process, provisions can be made to allow citizens to safely use the public right of way. More information regarding Parades and Assemblies can found at, Section 24-16, of the City of Champaign Municipal Code.

Mary Mullen

Champaign Police Department


One Response to “Imani Bazzell’s response to the City wrt Centennial protest”

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