This story has been updated to include a response from the Chicago Police Department.
Police chiefs gathering in Chicago Saturday were met by hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters calling for greater community input and an end to police brutality. Sixty-six protesters were arrested during the demonstration, according to police.
Protesters gathered outside the Chicago Police Department Headquarters on South Michigan Avenue and marched to McCormick Place to call for more community involvement in the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s training and policies. The IACP held its annual conference and exposition in Chicago October 24 through 27.
“We want our lives and our communities to remain a priority, not just here in the city of Chicago but around the country,” said Maria Hadden, a member of the Black Youth Project 100. “Black communities in this country, as well as other communities of color, we need to have a seat at the table when they determine what practices and policies will be.”
The IACP did not respond to the Reader’s requests for comment.
Activists rallied prior to the march, during which time police arrested 47 women and 19 men on misdemeanor charges of obstructing traffic. All of those arrested were bonded out as of Monday afternoon, police said.
Speakers included Mark Clements, who said he had been the victim of police brutality.
“I spent 28 years of my 50 years of life caged inside of a prison cell, literally only having my mother to serve as an activist,” Clements said. “What we have seen is the balance of justice is not fair for African-American and Latino people in this city.”
Dorothy Holmes also spoke. Her son, Ronald “Ronnie Man” Johnson, was fatally shot in October 2014 by Chicago police. Chicago police have resisted releasing dash cam footage of the shooting, although Holmes said she has seen the footage herself.
During the rally Holmes said she was tired of officers “killing our kids.” She said she continues on for her two daughters, but that some days are more difficult than others.
“He could have just grabbed [Ronald],” Holme said of the officer who shot her son. “But instead he pulled his gun out and he started shooting until my son went down. If we could put a stop to it today, we could save somebody else’s child’s life.”
Black Lives Matter Chicago plans to have another demonstration November 19 at the Chicago Police Headquarters, 3501 S. Michigan, to call for the firing of Dante Servin, the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Rekia Boyd.