CHICAGO — Thousands of protesters have shut down a Chicago interstate to draw attention to the city’s gun violence and pressure public officials to do more to help neighborhoods hardest hit by it.
Illinois State Police said early Saturday that an agreement had been reached to allow protesters onto a portion of Interstate 94 known as the Dan Ryan Expressway. Officers and vehicles lined up, forming a barrier to keep protesters in two northbound lanes.
But the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who’s leading the march, said protesters wanted to shut down the entire roadway. He noted the city closes major roads for parades and other occasions.
After a roughly hourlong standstill police announced they were shutting down all northbound lanes of the expressway and protesters began walking. Pfleger, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson were walking side-by-side among them.