CHAMPAIGN — After a police investigation, Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz has declined to file charges against the man who drove his pickup truck through a small protest July 25 in front of a since-closed barbershop in downtown Champaign.
She also declined to file charges against protesters for alleged vandalism and threats made to Rogue Barbershop and its owner, Michael Long.
“Protesters complain that the truck driver endangered them by driving from the scene. Evidence shows that the driver was driving slowly away from the scene, that one of the protesters put his bike in the way of the truck, and others converged on the truck, pounded on the truck, and attempted to get it to stop rather than moving away from the truck,” Rietz wrote Oct. 2 to Champaign police.
The city of Champaign also won’t be pursuing any ordinance violations, officials said.
Protesters were critical of the decision, with Justin Hendrix saying: “When reading, I asked myself: Who did she interview? None of the organizers nor protesters were interviewed.”
Rogue Barber Co., 12 E. Washington St., closed in August after it became a site of regular protests this summer.
The business announced in a since-deleted post on its Facebook page that it was a “private membership traditional barbershop (not unisex) not open to the general public” and would require prospective members to fill out an application that allegedly asked whether they are a member of any “violent extremist groups” such as antifa or Black Lives Matter.