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Chicago demands justice for Jayland Walker, community control of police

By staff |
July 8, 2022
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Chicago protest demands justice for Jayland Walker.
Chicago protest demands justice for Jayland Walker. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Chicago, IL - 200 protesters marched in Chicago's Federal Plaza, Wednesday evening, July 6, to demand justice for Jayland Walker, who was murdered on June 27 by Akron Ohio police. Speakers at the rally connected the murder to similar police killings and other police crimes such as torture and wrongful conviction. The protesters demanded that the officers who killed Jayland Walker be convicted, and that community control of the police be enacted.

The march was organized by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and was one of several protests this week called for by the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR). Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation, BLM-Chicago, the Rainbow PUSH coalition, and Justice for Nick Lee were among the organizations represented at the rally.

"Police killing Black people is not just an Ohio problem, it happens all over the country," said Kobi Guillory, one of the emcees at the rally . "That's why we have to fight for justice for Jayland Walker, Laquan McDonald, RonnieMan Johnson, Rekia Boyd, and everyone whose name doesn't get in the news." 

Chants such as "Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell" pointed to the systemic nature of police crimes.

Several of the speakers have family members who were killed, tortured or framed by police. Angel Gill of Mothers for Justice spoke about the wrongful conviction of her brother, Michael Minnifield, stating "This system treats our people like animals. We're not animals, we're human beings." 

The protesters pointed to community empowerment as the solution to police crimes. "There will be another Jayland Walker, and another and another until we win." Frank Chapman, executive director of NAARPR said. "The only way we can win is by taking power." Chapman spoke about the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance, a step towards community control of police pushed through Chicago city council by community organizations, and the need for continued pressure on elected officials to make community control a reality.

Chants of "All power to the people" rang throughout the march. At the end of the protest, organizers urged attendees to keep fighting for justice outside of protests, and specifically to demand that their alderpersons support the referendum to strengthen ECPS as well as the Peace Book ordinance written by youth-led organization Good Kids Mad City.