Chicago Police officers quickly began erecting barricades outside their headquarters Sunday afternoon, shortly after a group of about 70 people gathered at 35th and Michigan to protest fatal police shootings.
The group circled outside. They carried signs and photographs of people killed in police-involved shootings. And the Rev. Yehiel Curry of Shekinah Chapel Lutheran Church eventually declared their goal: “to place these photos on the windows.”
“Now I’m clear,” Curry said, “that the police don’t want us to do it.”
A short time later, the officers made a brief, futile effort to hold back members of the crowd. Then, amid chants of “let us through,” they relented. Several protesters were allowed to peacefully walk past the barricades and up to the windows of CPD headquarters to tape the photographs to the front windows before walking away.
“Not all cops are bad,” Curry declared afterward. “But we’re grateful that when the people come together and act as one, that justice can be served.”
The protesters, including members of the Community Renewal Society, want the City Council to adopt the “Fair Cops” ordinance. The ordinance calls for the creation of a police auditor selected by an independent third party and a deputy inspector general of police oversight within the officer of Inspector General Joe Ferguson.
An interfaith coalition of Chicago clergy also delivered a list of reform recommendations to the Chicago Police Department last week. Among the recommendations was a call to disband the Independent Police Review Authority.