On Sunday, May 31, 2020, shortly after 3 p.m., several individuals gathered in the parking lot of Marketplace Mall. Moments later, additional vehicles arrived, and individuals immediately began looting and vandalizing area businesses, leading to civil unrest. This criminal behavior quickly spread throughout Champaign and lasted until approximately 2 a.m. on Monday, June 1. Approximately 50 area businesses have been identified with damage and property loss.
The ensuing investigation by Champaign Police identified Shamar Betts, 19, of Urbana, as one of many individuals who burglarized businesses. On June 1, the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for Betts for the offense of Burglary. Bond on the warrant was set at $100,000.
On the morning of June 5, the United States Marshals Service arrested Betts out of state for his outstanding burglary warrant.
An investigation is ongoing into the rioting to determine if there was criminal intent by the organizer(s). Champaign Police are aware of social media posts under the name of a Shamar Betts encouraging a riot for Marketplace Mall at 3 p.m. on May 31, 2020 – the time the civil unrest developed. However, his direct involvement in organizing the lootings and disorder remains under investigation.
The Champaign Police Department would like to thank the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals Service for their assistance during this investigation.
Although an arrest has been made, the investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information about the lootings is asked to please contact police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements may be made for information to be shared privately. If you wish to remain anonymous you may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Champaign Police reminds citizens that information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tips information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.
All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.