Protesters upset over police mistreatment of African-Americans in Baltimore and across the nation marched from Chicago Police Headquarters at 35th and Michigan to the Hyde Park neighborhood Tuesday night.
The marchers gained in numbers to an estimated 400 to 500 people, disrupting traffic and chanting slogans before Chicago Police halted them in Hyde Park just west of the University of Chicago campus along 55th Street, refusing to allow them to proceed east. By 10 p.m., the crowd had dwindled to 150 to 200 people.
Protesters chanted “Whose streets? Our streets” and “We’ve got to fight back” as dozens of police officers on foot and on bicycles kept watch.
At one point near 35th and Calumet, several protesters scuffled with police who were trying to funnel marchers to the sidewalk before realizing the effort proved futile.
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Protesters marching south along Cottage Grove cut east and ran into Midway Plaisance Park, where they formed a circle around a group of speakers who shared a microphone.
Chicago Police officers look on as protesters gather at Midway Plaisance Park to listen to speakers Tuesday night. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times
The group derided Chicago Police and scolded the University of Chicago, calling for a trauma center to be built on the South Side. The majority of the racially diverse crowd, mostly in there 20s, left the park about 11 p.m.
Police, who wore plain uniforms — not riot gear — kept their distance.
“It was a good night, no one got hurt,” one high-ranking officer said as the crowd broke up.
Hector Alfaro, a Chicago Police spokesman said early Wednesday: Out of “several hundred protesters,” one male, whose age was not immediately known, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct.
“Chicago Police will always protect residents’ right to free speech and peaceful assembly. As we have seen over the past several years, protests have all been peaceful and CPD goes to great lengths to ensure protesters’ first amendment rights,” Alfaro said.
Marchers head east on 35th Street, still on the sidewalk, but people were starting to push toward the street. | Brian Jackson/For the SunTimes
Protesters march through the streets near 47th and Cottage Grove on Tuesday night. | Brian Jackson/For the SunTimes
Protesters take over the streets at 55th and Cottage Grove on Tuesday night. | Brian Jackson/For the SunTimes
Marchers end up at Midway Plaisance Park, at 59th and University on Tuesday night. | Brian Jackson/For the SunTimes