By Mark Guarino
CHICAGO — As three protests in downtown and the South Side ended, a fourth on the North Side was just getting started.
About 300 people marched north on California Avenue to protest a Louisville grand jury’s decision not to indict officers in Breonna Taylor’s death. They stopped in front of the 14th Police District headquarters, which was lined for a full block with police on the sidewalk. Protesters on foot and bike yelled into the faces of police officers for about 30 minutes until the march continued north up Milwaukee Avenue toward Logan Square, where Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) lives on a residential street.
The noise on the street drew Mike and Sara Franklin, 34 and 32 respectively, out of their house, and they joined the march. Sara said the march, like many others in Chicago this summer, are “part of change” in her city. “It won’t happen overnight, but every little bit counts,” she said.
The protest was also the first for Nasceita Luckett, 24, who decided to join the marchers after she left her job at a spa. Luckett, who is Black, said she decided to finally join the movement Wednesday because of one reason: “I’m tired, like every Black American.”
“I’m exhausted that Black people are not getting the justice we deserve,” she said. “I’m so tired of turning on the TV, it keeps going and it is never going to stop. … This is my time to try to make a difference.”
The marchers walked around a turnaround to enter Lightfoot’s street. They stopped two blocks from her house after seeing that Chicago police had barricaded the intersection, preventing them from moving forward. They reversed and ended up in the park, located in the middle of the turnaround. There, they spray-painted the 1918 Illinois Centennial Memorial Column with Taylor’s name and other graffiti.
Matthew James, 34, stood nearby on his bicycle watching. He showed up because, he said, he was “tired of watching the same scene play out for too long and elected officials failing to take police violence seriously.” He said the march reflects “a movement that is continuing to grow.”
“Five years ago, people protesting the police were thought of as crazy,” he said. “But now they are understanding why people have been upset for so long.”