'This Is Where Healing Starts': Naperville Residents Cleanup Downtown Area After Night Of Vandalism, Looting

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Volunteers helped clean up Naperville’s downtown Tuesday morning after a night that saw a peaceful protest followed by vandalism and looting.

About a dozen businesses were vandalized after a police brutality protest Monday night. A few stores, including Gap, Pandora and Ann Taylor, were looted. In Pandora, jewelry display cases were smashed. Video from Facebook showed people running out of Gap with clothing on their arms.

Most businesses in downtown Naperville went untouched. A number of businesses decided to board-up ahead of Monday night’s protest.  

Recent college grad Emily Rosenberg was one of the dozens of residents who were out helping to clean-up their downtown.  

"I saw, unfortunately, a live feed on Facebook yesterday of what was happening in our city and I felt compelled to come out and help with the clean-up efforts," she said.

Rosenberg said she supports the protest against police brutality, but not the vandalism and looting. She said she believes Naperville will rise to the occasion to become more racially diverse and inclusive.

Meanwhile, volunteer Margie Wolf looked at all the volunteers who swarmed downtown Tuesday morning and declared, "This is what Naperville is really about. This is the heart of Naperville. We’ve got some work to do (race relations, inclusivity). People are willing to do it and we’re going to start from today.

"We have a history, like everybody else, to overcome. We’re going to work on diversity and being welcoming and open and inclusive."

She said Naperville councilman Benny White has put together the Naperville Neighbors United group which is "bringing people together and we’re trying to overcome some of these things that have happened here in Naperville. We just want you to know we understand and this is who we really are. What you see here today. "

Wolf said "this is where healing starts."