Youth activists among 13 arrested outside downtown CPS headquarters during school police protest

The demonstration was the latest in months’ worth of calls to remove police from schools and came days before a board vote on whether to renew contracts with Chicago police.

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A group of student-led activists protest outside of Chicago Public Schools Headquarters, demanding that CPS remove all police officers from public schools, Aug. 24, 2020.

A group of student- led activists protest outside of Chicago Public Schools headquarters, demanding that CPS remove all police officers from public schools, Aug. 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

About a dozen people were taken into police custody Monday night outside Chicago Public Schools’ downtown headquarters during a peaceful protest against the presence of police officers in public schools.

The demonstration was the latest in months’ worth of calls to remove cops from schools and came two days before the city’s Board of Education is set to vote on whether to renew its contract with the Chicago Police Department or end the school police program.

Chicago police confirmed they arrested 13 people, among them two minors, in front of CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison St., “for illegally remaining in the street” after officers gave warnings to clear Madison Street. CPD said those arrested will be cited for a municipal violation of a pedestrian ordinance.

One of those arrested was a staff member with Raise Your Hand, a prominent parent advocacy group with ties to the Chicago Teachers Union, a spokeswoman said.

Social media videos showed a few dozen students and older activists dancing on Madison Street and playing games for hours before officers started clearing the street. They had set up tents on Madison and planned to “occupy” CPS headquarters for an unspecified amount of time. CPD said the tents were “illegally obstructing the roadway.”

When police began arresting those who stayed in the street, other activists chanted “we love you.”

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd) and Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) were among activists who showed up outside the juvenile detention center later Monday night for ”jail support,” waiting for the arrested students to be released.

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