Video shows Joliet mayor grab protestor

A video posted to YouTube Monday shows Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk grab a protestor at a demonstration for George Floyd, resulting in a scuffle that ended with two people in police custody.

O’Dekirk, a former Joliet police officer, said in a statement that he was provoked when he grabbed a “rioter” and started walking him backward towards a police car.

“I was confronted by a rioter, then attacked,” O’Dekirk said. “Using standard police tactics to immobilize the attacker by separating him from the crowd and walking him backwards toward police officers, I was jumped from behind by a second attacker.”

The video shows a group of Joliet police officers walking towards demonstrators, most of whom walk away to a chorus of vehicle horns. When the camera turns back around, O’Dekirk can be seen grabbing the collar of a male who is facing him, though it was not clear from the video what sparked the confrontation.

*WARNING: This video contains graphic language. Watch at your own discretion*

Seconds later, another male runs up to O’Dekirk from behind and grabs him, before all three tumble to the ground.

Both males were taken into custody, O’Dekirk said.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow released a statement Tuesday evening saying that his office has reviewed the reports and two videos of the incident, and will be requesting an investigation by an independent third party.

The Joliet Police Department requested that Illinois State Police conduct the investigation, Glasgow said, “to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and ensure a completely transparent process.”

“No final charging decision can be made until a full and independent investigation is completed,” Glasgow said.

O’Dekirk said both males were unharmed and that he suffered “minor bruises.”