West Side clergy lead Sunday march

The June 7 peaceful protest ended outside 15th District police station

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Bonni McKeown

Roughly 500 people walked from Central and Division to the Chicago Police District 15 Station, 5700 W. Madison St., on June 7. They chanted "Black Lives Matter!" and called for more resources to support fair policing, education and black business development in the community.

Black ministers, led by Pastor Tyree Beard of City of David Ministries at Central and Division, organized the peaceful protest.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (7th) spoke briefly about his goal for more money for education and jobs on the West and South sides. State Rep. Camille Lilly (78th), representing black elected officials on the West Side, expressed support for the 15th District officers before saying that "We must hold police accountable."

District 15 Commander Yolanda Talley spoke outside the station.

"Thank you for making the district part of this," she said. "We needed this peace."   Officers blocked off traffic on Central Avenue. Other police informally milled outside the station, wearing summer uniforms. 

Black ministers voiced the themes of peace and persistence, and of leadership from a new generation of ministers, saying "this is our hour of change." 

Church singers led "Amazing Grace" and an updated, bouncier version of "We Shall Overcome."

"We demand our police treat us like the citizens that walk the streets of Oak Park of Naperville," one pastor said. If businesses want to take black residents' money and give them no respect, they should not come back to the neighborhood, he said.

"I don't condone looting or violence," said another minister. "But why is it we make a noise about looting in Target, but not about classrooms that have more than 30 kids?"

Two young women who asked that their names not be used, carried a sign saying "Defund police."

Asked for her definition of the slogan, of the young women visualized a gradual substitution of social workers, EMTs and mental health workers for most situations, and that policing itself should come from within the community.

The first steps in reform should be removing militarized gear and weapons from police departments, she said.

Love the News?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Austin Weekly News and AustinWeeklyNews.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad