CHICAGO (CBS) -– The first in a series of protests against police are under way in Chicago on Saturday.
Protesters gathered at the UIC chancellor’s home, demanding change to campus law enforcement at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
They also want a meeting with the chancellor to discuss what they call issues of police harassment and violence on campus.
“I think we have been trying to battle systemic racism for quite a long time,”said student Teresa Borowski. “I have been here for five years and the entire time I have been here there have been parts of the university that have been doing this kind of work to dismantle structural racism and to defund the police. However, with all of the things like George Floyd happeing over the summer, it’s really kind of amplified.”
There have been similar protests at the University of Chicago. In June, protesters locked themselves inside the campus police headquarters. Right now, there’s also a push to get Chicago police out of public schools.
There are other protests demanding the city defund the Chicago Police Department—one at Whitney Young high school and the other downtown at federal plaza.
100+ people peacefully protesting along Laflin Street near Whitney M. Young HS.
— Steven Graves (@StevenGravesTV) August 23, 2020
The protest near Whitney Young included more than 100 demonstrators and was started with several speakers making a case to defund the Chicago Police Department. The protesters want the city to cut the police budget by 75% and reinvest that money directly in community improvements.
“Defunding the police looks like giving people like me the possibility to go to grad school so I can become a therapist so I can work with these black people that are in the streets everyday,” said Alyson Godbolt.
Students at the protest want school resource officers taken out of all Chicago Public Schols, saying funds should pay for other staff positions, like librarians.
“What’s it worth when I’m too scared to ask an SRO to move out of a space in the library so I can complete and assignment because my hands are shaking?” said Amari Sales.
Earlier, at the UIC protest, students wanted the university to end its contact with university police.
“I’ve been reading reports about UIC police where they haven’t had the best interations with the students,” said UIC law student Juawan Hall.