CHICAGO - Dozens of protesters gathered outside Chicago Police Headquarters Tuesday, accusing officers of treating black and brown communities differently amid the coronavirus pandemic and to call for justice in the death of an African American man in Minneapolis police custody.
Among the many protesters that filled the street was Chance The Rapper, who took a moment to express his solidarity with the people in Minneapolis, Minnesota who are grieving the loss of George Floyd.
“We are all humans, and we all feel a sense of danger or rage when situations like this happen,” the musician said.
Floyd was an unarmed black man who died Monday night after pleading with Minneapolis police officers that he could not breathe while he was being detained. Four Minneapolis police officers have since been fired.
“We want them convicted. We also want to send a message to Chicago,” said Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.
The protestors claim that how Chicago police react to crowds during the COVID-19 crisis depends on the neighborhood they live in.
“Even during the COVID crisis, we’ve been treated a little bit differently than our white protesters downtown,” said activist Ja’Mal Green.
“There cannot be two sets of rules. Treat the South Side like you treat the North Side,” Father Pfleger said.
Video circulating on social media shows police breaking up a crowd in Englewood on Sunday. Two officers were hurt during the incident.
Then, a video on Monday showed a crowd in Grant Park that ended in no arrests.
On Tuesday, CPD Chief of Operations Fred Waller said the crowd in Englewood was a chaotic situation with large numbers of people when someone began shooting.
“Our officers were busy in all parts of the city this weekend. Yes, we need to do better and we will do better,” Waller said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also said that Chicago police are active and engaged all over the city with an eye toward equity, and that she would not have it any other way.