Chicago protests: Kanye West joins CPS students at South Side march demanding CPS cancel contract with CPD

West made $2M donation to families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor

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Friday, June 5, 2020
Kanye West joins student protest demanding CPS cancel contract with CPD
The students want CPS to cancel its $33 million contract with CPD and reinvest that money in their schools.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Rapper and Chicago native Kanye West joined Chicago Public Schools students Thursday at a protest demanding CPS cancel their contract with the Chicago Police Department.

The rapper and Chicago native (in the gray hoodie and khakis) joined CPS students to demand the school system cancel their contract with CPD.

The march was organized by Ja'Mal Green to fight CPS's $33 million contract with the police department. Recently, Minnesota Public Schools canceled their contract with the Minneapolis Police Department.

"We are here today to tell CPD we don't need them in our schools no more," one protester said.

Hundreds of current and former CPS students and their allies marched through the streets of the South Side. They said justice for Chicago Public Schools starts with cutting ties with the Chicago Police Department.

"We're out here because CPS would rather put $33 million into keeping police in schools than $33 million into resources for our youth," said Taylore Norwood.

"Earlier this school year CPS did not properly support the teachers," said Essence Gatheright. "CTU had to go on strike for two weeks because our schools weren't funded properly."

Organizers said research shows that the presence of police officers in schools increases the likelihood students will be referred to law enforcement for normal teenage behavior.

The young protesters said instead of funneling money into CPD, they want the mayor and CPS to reinvest that money.

"Why are there officers in my school and we don't have enough social workers?" said China Smith, Good Kids Mad City. "Why are there officers in my school and we have to share counselors for a whole class of 2020?"

Green and Good Kids Mad City partnered for the protest. West made a special appearance.

"No, it ain't OK that in an urban community you are expected to fail because you ain't got books," said Green. "Your books are outdated and tore up! Somehow when it comes to violence, when it comes to every situation: police, police!"

The march traveled from the CPS District Office to CPD Headquarters in Bronzeville.

West made a $2 million donation to support the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, a representative for West told CNN. The donation includes funding for legal fees for Arbery and Taylor's families, along with black-owned businesses in crisis in his native Chicago and other cities.

West's representative said he established a 529 education plan to fully cover college tuition for Gianna Floyd, the 6-year-old daughter of George Floyd.