President says it is a 'precautionary' measure taken because of protests, although demonstrations in the area have been peaceful
Despite the fact that protests in the area have been peaceful, Crystal Lake Bank and Trust Company at 70 N. Williams St. was completely boarded up on Wednesday.
Jim Thorpe, president of Crystal Lake Bank and Trust Company, said this was done as a precautionary measure.
"We're looking at it as a very temporary situation," Thorpe said, adding that the bank hopes to take the boards down in the next several days. "[With] the combination of COVID-19 and the protest, we just thought it would be proactive."
This branch had already been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so there was no staff in the building at this time.
Other Crystal Lake Bank and Trust locations, such as the 27 N. Main St. drive-up and the 5100 Northwest Highway location, are open but have made adjustments to align with state requirements put into place because of COVID-19.
Hundreds of people attended a Black Lives Matter protest on Wednesday in Crystal Lake's Veterans Acres Park.
It was McHenry County's largest crowd yet to protest the May 25 death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd. Like other demonstrations in the area, such as in Woodstock and Huntley, this protest was peaceful.
Floyd died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd called “mama” and exclaimed that he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin, who has since been fired and criminally charged in connection with Floyd’s death, knelt on the man’s neck for nearly three minutes after Floyd was nonresponsive, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Thorpe said the bank is getting information on upcoming protests in the Crystal Lake area and trying to make the best decisions as it can.
"We're just looking to protect our assets and make sure that we can get back in business to serve the community," he said.
More protests are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
On Thursday, the Crystal Lake Police Department posted a status on its Facebook page saying there have been a number of inquiries about the protests in Crystal Lake. They said the group planning them had asked to meet with the police department to make sure they had a peaceful event.
"Crystal Lake Police Department anticipates nothing but a peaceful event regarding the unjust death of George Floyd," police said.