At least four protest marches proceeded peacefully throughout Chicago early Wednesday evening as hundreds of people seized upon the news that no Louisville police were indicted in the killing of Breonna Taylor.
On the far South Side, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest with St. Sabina Parish, led about 100 people in a march that blocked an intersection at 79th Street and Racine Avenue. Pfleger was joined by other South Side church leaders in speaking to the crowd about spreading the Black Lives Matter message to people far beyond the neighborhoods hurting the most.
Farther north, in Bronzeville, about 150 people stood in front of the Chicago Police headquarters until marching about four blocks north to a park where they called for police reform and denounced Chicago officials including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whom they characterized as caring little about making lasting change.
One speaker, Nico Jordan, 23, said he showed up “to fight for my people, especially Black women.”
“I came from a Black woman, I’ll always fight for them,” he said. The upcoming election does not give him hope that much will change on the national stage because he said he viewed most politicians as “corrupt.” But locally, he said, the frequent street marches all summer give him hope. “I expect [reform] will come slowly but surely,” he said.
At the park, the crowd took a symbolic knee for Taylor. Among the protesters was a man waving a giant black flag he said represented “freedom.” The man, 40, who did not want to give his name, said he and his flag are present at most protests because he views himself as fighting for “the abolition of the police.”
“They follow their own laws as far as I know. Thugs with badges, we’re sick and tired of it,” he said. “If our country has any morality, we’d punish killer cops.”
He too said he sees little differences between both political parties, although he hopes President Trump will be ejected from office come November. “Democrats and Republicans are both players in the same game, which is imposing imperialism,” he said.
In downtown Chicago, dozens of protesters gathered on the sidewalk in front of Millennium Park before marching through the Loop, followed by a platoon of Chicago police officers on bicycles and in vehicles. A few miles to the west, in Palmer Park, some 300 protesters gathered before marching north through the neighborhood. No arrests were reported.