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June 15, 2024

Former Urbana Park District Employee incites riots at MarketPlace Mall –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 31, 2020

Urbana, IL. (ECWd) –

UPDATE #2: the Urbana School District has confirmed that Shamar Betts does not and did not work for them and is/was not a school district employee. The “afterschool program” at the Urbana Middle School was in cooperation with the Urbana Park District. Betts was employed at the Park District at that time. Janet, an employee of the Park District claims he no longer works there, but we have been unable to receive responses to my questions of when he was terminated, or if he doesn’t work there simply because of the COVID closures. His name is listed on the Park District’s preschool program parent handbook, published in October of 2019.

UPDATE: Shamar Betts, the vegetarian preschool camp leader for the Urbana Park District posted a video he is sure to be proud of – in the post he appeared to be bragging about looting a business also:

Shamar Betts – an employee of the Urbana Park District (according to his Facebook page and Park District letters) has made several posts on Facebook which appear to be his attempt at inciting a riot and looting in the Urbana-Champaign areas.

Betts is employed within the Preschool Public Program Leader & Nature Play Facilitator. His bio (On page 10 of the Forest Preschool Handbook below) states:

My name is Shamar, and I’m proud to be a part of this program, enthralling young minds!
This past summer I worked as an Extended Camp Leader and Preschool Camp Leader at
Nature Day Camp. I also helped lead Animal Adventure Camp and Preschool Science Camp. I
currently work at the afterschool program at Urbana Middle School, teaching kids how to
play chess. No matter where I’ve lived, I have always interacted with nature. I have been a
vegetarian for the past four years because I don’t believe in harming any living being. I
guarantee that your child will be in good hands with me!

On a Facebook post from this morning, Betts posted a deranged rambling, and a photo asking people to “RIOT @MarketPlace Mall at 3” He also posted a photo with a burning car and asked people to “bring friends, family, posters, bricks, bookbags, etc.” and that “After the mall we hitting the whole PROSPECT & NEIL.”

Click to enlarge

Is this a person any public entity should trust with children?

You can download the pre-school handbook at this link or view it below.


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  • jannie
    Posted at 16:27h, 31 May Reply

    Looks and words are deceiving – his profile as you quoted and his picture he appears to be a responsible young man. However, his facebook not. He has a lot of growing up to do. In the job climate of today, and economic down turn due to the pandemic – he’s made a large mistake.

    • HT
      Posted at 15:27h, 01 June Reply

      Oh, OK, just wait until his flock visit your ‘hood. Then greet him and “talk” to him about growing up.

      Good luck!

  • Elizabeth Gruber
    Posted at 16:36h, 31 May Reply

    Losing his job may not be enough. When you ask people to bring bricks and riot he needs a visit from the local police.

    • Sarah
      Posted at 17:10h, 31 May Reply


  • Sarah
    Posted at 17:00h, 31 May Reply

    I have already contacted his employer and demanded his immediate removal. I would encourage other residents of Champaign county to do the same.

  • Rory Steidl
    Posted at 18:44h, 31 May Reply

    Apparently, they’re looting Old Navy as we speak. If there is looting, I hope Champaign PD goes in and cleans house. However, the police department’s / police chief’s boss is the Mayor. If I recall correctly, they have a Democrat Mayor. Let’s see oif she’s as tough on thugs, scofflaws, and rioters as she was on the general public re her China Virus state of emergency declaration back in March. I doubt it.

    • Michael Owens
      Posted at 22:06h, 31 May Reply

      First she will be as tough as she needs to be, as long as it doesn’t cause more issues than what there is already. Second you must be a trump supporter. It’s not China virus its called Coronavirus and it was brought to this country by European citizens. If Trump hadn’t downplayed for 2 months, then maybe we wouldn’t have over 100,000 deaths in the United States.

      • Aaron
        Posted at 22:43h, 31 May Reply

        Skydiver forgets chute. Blames Trump

        • Greg
          Posted at 16:51h, 01 June Reply

          “Skydiver forgets chute” Cause of death Covid 19

  • Dave
    Posted at 18:51h, 31 May Reply

    Why does the media show businesses burning and people looting, then call it protest? That destruction and theft of property is a crime spree. We have not lost the right or ability to become morally outraged about the crime spree the media is deceptively calling protest. By their deeds you shall know them. At the same time, it’s okay to support law enforcement and also condemn officers who tarnish the badge and abuse their power. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s the moral duty of all citizens. Condemn the bad officers and protest peacefully; when you burn, loot and damage property, you greatly diminish the integrity of the peaceful protests in other cities and that won’t erase the grief of the victim’s family or give them justice.

  • Berry Manalowe
    Posted at 19:02h, 31 May Reply

    he needs a knee to the back of his neck

    • BLM
      Posted at 12:52h, 01 June Reply

      You are a horrible excuse for a human.

  • Berry Manalowe
    Posted at 19:03h, 31 May Reply

    he needs a knee to the back of his neck

  • Dave
    Posted at 19:08h, 31 May Reply

    He called himself EXACTLY what he is in his own video.

  • Dirk Toadlance
    Posted at 22:09h, 31 May Reply

    I’d give him the next 25 years to the rest of his life to think about it.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 07:39h, 01 June Reply

    Michael, China Virus. Not the European virus. From a bio lab, not from the local meat market. Trump halted international travel to protect our country while the Chinese people were populating the world with their China Virus for months; after they knew where it came from and how dangerous it was. Then they horded medical supplies for them selves.

    What did you or your mayor or our governor do? Hindsight is easy, but again, where were you? By the way, quarantine was to slow the virus…not to say at home until all disease known to man kind was cured. The illegal shutdown of businesses by our Governor…not the IDPH; and the looming financial depression because of our professional leaders here in Illinois is underway…it is being felt by all as we speak.

    • HT
      Posted at 11:01h, 01 June Reply

      You can’t waste your breath on news typists who regurgitate what they were told by CNN.

      Even in early March, the WHO, Pelosi, the NYC mayor, and Fauci, all stated that there were no concerns of this virus, and encouraged people to go on normally, while calling Trump xenophobic for stopping travel from China.

      No one noticed the illogical progression of this virus from China, how it hit Wuhan, then miraculously skipped other more densely populated regions of China, and went right over to Hong Kong, where there were protests against the Chicom government. This Chinese originated virus then went everywhere else in the globe, but skipped most of China. Isn’t that worth of some speculation?

      Of course not. That would make Trump look good, and that’s certainly not the right thing to do.

  • They be clownin
    Posted at 11:05h, 01 June Reply

    He was using the N word several times. Racist

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