In a march that shut down a portion of Lake Shore Drive during rush hour and ended with prayers and speeches outside of Wrigley Field, hundreds of anti-violence protesters marched in Chicago on Thursday evening to demand that the city invest in its impoverished neighborhoods and to call for the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
The protesters took chalk to the city’s popular expressway to highlight the issues of gun violence and police brutality. According to the Chicago Tribune‘s tracking program, 304 people have been killed in 2018 alone, mostly in shootings.
Some marchers chanted “16 shots and a cover up” in reference to 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in October of 2014. Since the dash camera footage of the shooting was released in 2015, there have been local protests as well as federal inquiries into the police department. Van Dyke is facing murder charges, and his trial is set to begin later this year.
Antonio Brown marched carrying a photograph of his son, Amari. “My son was killed in 2015 on the Fourth of July. He was 7-years-old. So I’m really just tired of the senseless violence. I’m trying to do everything that I can do to keep his name alive,” Brown told ABC 7 Chicago. “Everything that I do for him, if it’s positive it helps me get through what I have to get through.”
“The reality is this: Our community is bleeding every day,” declared organizer Tio Hardiman, calling for investment on the South and West Sides. “We need some resources.”
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