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Chicago Rallies Against Police Brutality

by Caryl Sortwell |
January 28, 1999
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Chicago, IL - October 22nd, over 600 Chicagoans gathered in the Daley Plaza to rally to stop police brutality and the criminalization of a generation. The event marked the third year in a row that Chicago anti-police brutality activists came together to demand that the Chicago Police are held accountable for their actions.


Victims of police brutality and their families spoke about experiences with Chicago's "finest" and about their own struggles for justice. Ilsa Guillen, widow of Jorge Guillen, who was killed by three Chicago police in 1993, said, "Mayor Daley, even though you were not there in the room the night my husband was killed, you have murdered him all over again with your refusal to punish his killers."


Leaders from communities of color, anti-police brutality organizations, lesbian/gay organizations and Chicago churches also spoke of the fight against police brutality. "No more victims of police brutality!" was the common theme of all the speeches.


In recent years, the fight for police accountability in Chicago has heated up, and many cases of police brutality have faced a lot of public scrutiny. The spotlight has turned on Chicago City government, where these cases are supposed to get a fair investigation.


Chicago anti-police brutality activists say that the problem of police abuse of power and racist violence is not just a few "bad apples" in the department. The system that should punish these apples needs a complete overhaul.


Speeches and signs at the demonstration demand that the system change: "Smash the Code of Silence," "Videotape Police Interrogations," and "Punish Brutal Cops." Energy from the October 22nd rally will propel activists to continue their fight backs until next October 22nd and beyond.