Shamar Betts

Shamar Betts, 20

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A man who incited a riot at Champaign's Market Place Mall has been sentenced to four years in federal prison. 

Shamar Betts of Urbana had admitted to his actions that led to the riot. On the morning of May 31, 2020, days after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, he made a Facebook post looking for people to show up for a riot. People were asked to bring "friends, family, posters, bricks, bookbags, etc." 

Betts had also admitted to burglary related to the riot. Video captured at the scene showed him entering an Old Navy and leaving with stolen khaki pants. 

His sentencing hearing was Thursday in federal court. The News-Gazette reports along with Betts' four-year prison sentence, he has to pay approximately $1.5 million in restitution, which is for damage to six dozen businesses in looting and vandalism on the day of the riot.

When Betts gets out of prison, he must serve three years of parole. 

Betts was told by U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm he likely wouldn't come close to fulfilling the debt "unless you win the lottery." He was ordered to turn over half of his disposable income to the government each month until the money is paid. 

The newspaper said Betts apologized for the "negative impact" of his "drastic and emotional mistake" in a statement he read in just over two minutes. He has been described as a model prisoner in the last 14 months who has been respectful of authority and helped others. 

Betts was credited for a year spent behind bars while he was prosecuted on Illinois charges for burglary during the riot. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.