Friday, June 29, 2018

Tribune: Police call on Pfleger to not shut down Dan Ryan with July peace march

Via Chicago Mag
Unless something changes during the course of the next week this march on the Dan Ryan Expressway is going to happen.
A top Chicago Police Department official on Thursday implored Rev. Michael Pfleger not lead a peace march onto the Dan Ryan Expressway next month, saying hundreds of officers would need to be pulled out of neighborhoods on a busy summer weekend.

But Pfleger, the pastor at St. Sabina Catholic Church with a long track record of activism, said he plans to go ahead.

“We are not gonna roll over and be quiet,” he said.

Pfleger this week announced a protest march for 10 a.m. on July 7 in the northbound lanes of the Dan Ryan, from 79th Street to 67th Street. He said the goal is to demand city officials do more to address violence.

Chicago police First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio contended Thursday the expressway route could be detrimental to that aim.

“The very thing that they’re trying to accomplish — stop violence and stop shootings — has the potential to actually escalate because we’re pulling police officers out of the neighborhoods where we need them in order to escort the protesters down the expressway,” Riccio told reporters after a City Hall hearing on Police Department crime statistics.

Riccio said it could require 200 or more police officers to shut down the Ryan to protect marchers. He said Pfleger has not been receptive to suggestions from the department that he instead hold the march on a neighborhood street.

Pfleger said he has a good relationship with Chicago Police but was surprised to hear the comment about them pulling officers for the protest. He said he hasn’t heard that concern before when there are marches downtown, or for Blackhawks and Cubs championship parades.
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