CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of protesters gathered for a rally and march in Homan Square to demand the city decrease the budget for the Chicago Police Department and put that money into social services to prevent crime and violence at the root.
The rally was held in Freedom Square across from the CPD "black site" at 1100 block of Homan Avenue, where police are said to have detained thousands of residents for secret interrogations that violated their constitutional rights, without access to attorneys.
Speakers told of their own experiences with Chicago police and analyzed the myriad, complex issues facing disenfranchised parts of the city. They called for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to decrease the police budget and instead invest in small businesses, mental health services, public education, homelessness aid, and general neighborhood investment.
The investment in communities and social services will allow violence to be stopped at the root, demonstrators said, by allowing people in disinvested communities to build a "beautiful future."
"These communities do not need more cops to brutalize, terrorize and criminalize them. We demand the City of Chicago defund the Chicago Police Department and invest in actual community and public safety resources. We demand the closure of Homan Square and all other CPD black sites," the groups said in a statement.
After the rally the protesters took to the streets in a march around the neighborhood.
The protest was put on by Black Lives Matter Chicago, Black Abolitionist Network, United Working Families, Chicago Alliance Against Racial & Political Repression and other groups.