CHICAGO – A large protest took place on the Near West Side Friday night as the city announced additional resources for this weekend.
Mayor Lightfoot held a press conference on the South Side Friday evening to discuss the changes and express dismay with Chicago officers who have been accused of disorderly contact in the last week.
In it, she said over 300 city trucks, from the Department of Streets and Sanitation and Water, will provide strategic traffic support at more than 175 businesses across the city. The mayor said a focus will be on South and West side businesses after many were looted and damaged last weekend.
The city will deploy additional security from local, state and federal partners to protect those businesses.
Business owners can text CHIBIZ to 67283 to opt-in to received targeted emergency alerts for the business community.
Additionally, Grant Park and Union Park will open up this weekend to give more space to protesters to express their First Amendment rights.
“I also want to announce that we will be opening Grant Park and Union Park to an effort for residents to express their pain in the murder of George Floyd,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
The mayor also said Chicago’s curfew will remain in place for the time being.
“For now, our 9 to 6 a.m curfew will remain in effect and we hope to be in a position to lift that soon,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
After two officers were relieved of police powers Friday night following two separate incidents at Brickyard Mall Sunday, Mayor Lightfoot said the city will not tolerate disorderly conduct from CPD.
“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it everyday,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “We will not tolerate people who cross the line. We will not tolerate excessive force. We will not tolerate profanity and homophobic comments.”
Chicago police Supt. David Brown spoke as well at the news conference.
“We cannot afford to let any officers tarnish this badge,” Supt. Brown said.
Peaceful protests continued in Chicago Friday night. A rally of thousands began at Union Park and marched through the city.
The large marched moved down Halsted, across the Chicago River and ended at Whitney Young High School in the West Loop. Protesters marched back to Union Park Friday night.
The march was organized by Chicago Public Schools Community. It was made up of students, teachers and activists from BYP 100, the Black Youth Project.
“We have all this melding into a huge uprising,” said Brian Young Jr. “I hope we can sustain to get revolutionary change.”
The group is also calling for the defunding of Chicago police. They particularly want armed officers out of CPS.