A group of protesters gathered together over the Labor Day weekend to bring awareness to the rising gun violence in Chicago. The group of dozens made an effort to descend onto Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway to prevent commuters from reaching the O’Hare International Airport, but police were quick to intervene.
In addition to bringing attention to gun violence, some individuals joined the protest to urge politicians to invest more money into Chicago’s West and South sides. Many demonstrators called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s immediate resignation. Protesters intended to disrupt traffic, but police quickly demanded the group to exit the roadway. Chicago Police forcefully warned that everyone who remained on the roadway would be arrested.
At least 12 different suspects refused to move from the roadway after the repeated warnings. Eight men and four women were taken into police custody. Each suspect was issued a citation and fine for causing a public safety issue on the roadway. The fine amounted to $120 for each suspect. All suspects were released on their own recognizance after being scheduled for a court date. One of the more vocal protesters arrested has been identified as the organizer of the protest, Reverend Gregory Livingston.
The Chicago Police officers involved in the incident confirmed that none of the demonstrators resisted arrest. While they did refuse to leave the roadway, police officers said there was a mutual respect between both the officers and demonstrators. Ultimately, the expressway was not shut down and traffic was only temporarily halted. Last month, Reverend Livingston successfully shut down Lake Shore Drive, so police were happy that this protest didn’t cause commuters any problems.