Hundreds rally, march in Logan Square to protest police violence: ‘Adam, we love you!’

“You have allowed police officers to traumatize us,” Mark Clements, a survivor of police violence, told the crowd.

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After gathering in Logan Square Park, thousands of protesters began marching north on Milwaukee Avenue Friday night.

After gathering in Logan Square Park, thousands of protesters began marching north on Milwaukee Avenue Friday night.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Logan Square Monument Friday evening, holding signs demanding justice for 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in Little Village late last month.

“You have allowed police officers to traumatize us,” Mark Clements, a survivor of police violence, told the crowd.

“We are out here because we watched a child gunned down by the Chicago police. Where’s the integrity?” Clements said.

“I want this whole park to rock,” Clements shouted. “We’re showing [Mayor] Lori Lightfoot: No more. We showing the governor: No more. We showing Toni Preckwinkle: No more!”

Preckwinkle, the Cook County Board president, was at the event, but did not address the crowd.

Many speakers became emotional, crying as they called for justice for Adam and others killed by police.

“Adam, we love you, we will not stop until there is justice for you!” the crowd shouted in unison.

From other speakers there also were demands for rent control, better jobs and funding for youth-driven social programs. To accomplish this, some organizers said, the city should reduce funding for the Chicago Police Department and use the money to improve social programs instead.

Emilio Jose Torres and Andre Morris, both 19, said they wanted to see the city put money in disinvested communities rather than the police department.

“I grew up in the Humboldt Park and Logan Square area before it was gentrified and I’ve seen crime firsthand,” Torres said. “And I can tell you right now, the way to stop crime is not by policing people. It’s by finding resources to make sure kids have education and kids have a decent home. Criminals don’t just appear out of nowhere.”

Added Morris: “We need more power and that’s what we’re trying to do. That’s why we’re gathered. This is our power, this is our speech.”

Hundreds packed into Logan Square Park on Friday to protest the fatal shooting by Chicago police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Hundreds packed into Logan Square Park on Friday to protest the fatal shooting by Chicago police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

After a 90-minute rally in the park, the crowd marched north on Milwaukee Avenue, filling the road, waving signs and chanting. Some also protested the fatal shooting by police of Anthony Alvarez, 22, killed about two days after Adam.

“No justice, no peace, abolish the police!” some yelled, as diners in the popular business district looked on through restaurant windows.

“They killed a 13-year-old kid with his hands up,” said Nate Brandford, 20, a student at the University of Chicago. “They’ve been killing us for a while now, so I figured I’d come to yet another protest to scream yet another name.”

When the crowd reached the point where Milwaukee crossed Diversey and Kimball avenues, they formed a large circle, and chants to abolish the police resumed. After about 15 minutes there, they resumed their march, heading west on Diversey, then south on Hamlin to Fullerton, where they again formed a circle for another small rally before marching back east on Fullerton to Kedzie, then returning to the park.

After a rally Friday at Logan Square Park to protest police violence and the fatal shooting by police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Little Village, the protesters set off on Milwaukee Avenue, marching through the surrounding neighborhood. Here, the marchers paused and formed a circle at Kimball, Milwaukee and Diversey avenues.

After a rally Friday at Logan Square Park to protest police violence and the fatal shooting by police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Little Village, the protesters set off on Milwaukee Avenue, marching through the surrounding neighborhood. Here, the marchers paused and formed a circle at Kimball, Milwaukee and Diversey avenues.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

There was a brief standoff between protesters and police at Central Park and Wrightwood avenues, not far from the home of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. About 100 demonstrators who broke off the main march lined up and yelled at police there before heading back to rejoin the larger crowd, marching through Logan Square side streets shouting “Hands up don’t shoot!”

Other than that, though, the march remained peaceful and without incident — until the very end, as the crowd was dispersing.

That’s when police apprehended a man for reasons that were unclear. He was placed in a squad car, but as soon as that car’s siren went off, other demonstrators converged, blocking the squad car and keeping it from leaving.

The car was blocked only briefly; police pushed and shoved some people out of the way, eventually allowing it to leave. Some remaining protesters continued to shout and yell at officers. A second man also was seen handcuffed and detained by police.

The crowd peaked at around 1,000, and stayed there, even four hours after the rally started, and more than two hours of marching.

Police and protesters on Wrightwood Avenue near Logan Square Park Friday night, April 16, 2021.

Police and protesters on Wrightwood Avenue near Logan Square Park Friday night.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Andrea Popoca, 26, didn’t expect the protest to turn out to be as big as it did, but was pleased at the turnout.

“We’re here to show our support for the community in this unjustified murder,” Popoca said, holding a sign with Adam’s name on it. “That video was sickening and we were mortified when we saw it.”

Popoca said the video showed a “trigger happy” officer who needs to be fired and charged.

“This keeps happening and it simply needs to stop,” she added.

As the march twisted and turned through the Northwest Side neighborhood, TV helicopters flew above, monitoring the protest. Police blocked intersections, allowing the peaceful demonstration to move around.

Janely Rodríguez and Melissa Vazquez, both 17, came from the Southwest Side to march, driven by rage at Adam’s killing.

“To see a 13-year-old boy who was cooperating, in the end, with the cops, to still get shot — it’s just something that left a mark on me and it left me really mad,” Rodriguz said.

“Because it’s like, they can ask us to do something, and we can do it, and in the end we’ll still get shot.”

Manny Ramos is a corps member in Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of issues affecting Chicago’s South and West sides.

Sam Kelly is a CST Wire reporter.

More than a thousand people march near Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home in Logan Square to protest the fatal shooting by Chicago police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, Friday evening, April 16, 2021.

More than a thousand people march Friday evening near Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home in Logan Square to protest the fatal shooting by Chicago police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

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