Miracle Boyd

After Last Weekend’s Police Brutality, Chicago Youth and Allies Call to Remove Cops from CPS, Defund Police

I know people all over town are having big feelings about what happened at Friday night’s protest in Grant Park.

Many of us are outraged and appalled by CPD’s treatment of Good Kids Mad City organizer Miracle Boyd, who just graduated from the Chicago Public Schools and was recently featured in a Block Club article about an anti-violence march she helped organize.

She’ll be speaking this morning at 10 a.m. Don’t miss it.

Some of us are also having big feelings about what happened at a smaller demonstration in Logan Square, near Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s house, where police and protestors came to a long, tense standoff at the corner of Fullerton and Kimball before police allowed the march to proceed and protest organizers wrapped it up shortly after.

Fortunately, that march ended without arrests, but a cyclist was injured when an unknown car with municipal plates drove into the crowd. I say this as an eyewitness.

As for Friday, all I know is I have a friend who was acting as a medic at the protest and witnessed a police officer holding down a protestor and repeatedly punching him in the face. When my friend tried to intervene peacefully, another officer came up and hit him in the head. There’s a gory photo of his bloodied face on his Facebook page–I’ll spare us all and not post it here.

Meanwhile, two other friends of mine who went had their belongings and bikes stolen by police officers. They didn’t make the news. They were not attacking police. I also saw video of police snatching bikes from folks way back by Buckingham Fountain before the crowd even headed to the statue.

I’ve been taking part in street protests in Chicago for about 30 years now, and based on that experience, I’d say of last weekend: CPD was acting like CPD always does at protests. They hit you and you get charged with assault.

I’m working with a small, ad hoc group of CPS parents and teachers who were outraged by CPD’s treatment of young Black and Brown organizers over the weekend. If you’d like to take part in a virtual action to give the mayor and the police a piece of your mind, please join us.

We’re doing it now until 10 a.m. when we’ll stop to listen to Miracle Boyd and amplify what she and other Chicago youth have to say. Please join us.

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Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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