CHICAGO (CBS)—Anti-violence protests are commonplace in Chicago, but the massive march that shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway last month stood out.
Although the march had a positive intention to send a signal to lawmakers to take action against the city’s soaring violence rate, shutting down the highway for a few hours on a Saturday morning inconvenienced motorists and every taxpayer in Illinois.
That’s because taxpayers are footing the nearly $200,000 bill the state paid extra police to manage protestors.
About 3,000 protesters turned out the morning of the march in an effort to put pressure on politicians to infuse Chicago’s black community with more money to create jobs and improve opportunities for education—two initiatives intended to reduce crime.
While the message didn’t fall on deaf ears, the march forced the state to pay to keep the event safe by increasing the police force on staff that day and other measures.
Hundreds of state troopers poured out of buses that pulled up the morning of the march and formed a line that stretched more than a mile between the 79th and 67th street exits.
The total cost for the army of cops? $198,831.
State police admitted the highway shutdown tested their limits.
“Absolutely, it’s uncharted territory for us,” said Illinois State Police director Leo Schmitz on the day of the march.
Here’s the breakdown of the police resources used during the march:
- 274 state police officers.
- 178 Troopers
- 36 Sargeants
- 35 Master Sargeants
- 10 Lieutenants
- 15 Captains, Majors, Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels
No injuries or arrests were made that day.