Gov. JB Pritzker attends unity gathering in memory of George Floyd in south suburban Matteson

MATTESON, Ill. (WLS) -- Governor Pritzker was among the elected officials, faith and community leaders who attended a unity gathering and march in memory of George Floyd in Matteson Monday.

The gathering was held outside Victory Apostolic Church.

"We will not stop until there is some legislation in place that protects our people," said Matteson resident Javonna Smith. "That's why we're here today."

At the rally outside the house of worship there was a scene of resolve. One of the participants said he felt change is within grasp, as long as everyone stays the course. And the elected officials at the rally pledged to make that happen.

"Let's become the first state that puts in action the policies that recognize that black lives matter," Pritzker said. "Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!"

The group then marched to the unity bridge in Matteson.

This was the third day in a row Pritzker had been in the suburbs supporting a day of action, calling for greater investment in minority communities.

The governor was also asked to weigh in the national debate over defunding police departments.

"It's a poor use of words to describe what many people really want; right, it's change. They want fundamental change in the way that police operate," Pritzker answered.

The governor said he's working with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on a package of police reforms and would have more details on those reforms in the coming days.

Earlier in the day he called on insurance companies to act quickly to reimburse policy holders impacted by the looting that took place last week, especially small business owners. The governor said insurers that drag their feet will be held accountable.
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