Two people were arrested Sunday as about 100 protesters demonstrated in the Loop against the police shootings of African-American men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and outside St. Paul, Minnesota, that preceded the deadly attack on police by a sniper in Dallas.
Police could not offer additional information about the arrests Sunday evening other than to say charges were pending.
One man was arrested about 3:30 p.m. when demonstrators formed a circle to block traffic at Jackson and Michigan, just west of the Taste of Chicago.
What sparked the arrest wasn’t clear, but the man said, “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting,” as a group of officers dismounted their bicycles and led him away to a squad car.
“Let him go! Let him go,” protesters chanted.
The march began at Daley Plaza and proceeded to the Dirksen Federal Courthouse before heading east to Grant Park.
“For you white people out here, denouncing white privilege is a beautiful thing,” Nina Morris, an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement, told the diverse crowd.
“Appreciate you being out here,” she said.
Activist Eric Russell was one of several protest leaders who addressed the crowd.
“There appears to be a hunt, and the prey is black and brown men,” he said. “Police have targets on our backs.”
“They have a shoot first and ask questions later mentality when it comes to black people,” Russell said.
Activist Ralph Peterson, of Waukegan, spoke of the sniper who killed five officers Thursday night in Dallas before he was killed.
“If you really think about the root of why he did this it is because police have been getting off the hook,” he said. “I’m not saying we condone it, but we’re not throwing him away.”
Protesters had an array of encounters Sunday with police, who were able to corral them off the street and pen them in along a section of Michigan Avenue sidewalk.
One young protester stared at a young police officer, called him a vulgar word and yelled at him for being part of a brutal regime.
“I love you,” the officer told the man, who, in momentary confusion, stopped his verbal assault.
Moments later, another protester thanked the same officer for his service.
“Thanks, we need your support,” the officer said.