CHICAGO (CBS) — Protesters gathered in front of St. Sabina Church and went on to shut down busy 79th Street in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood Wednesday, in reaction to a grand jury decision on the police officers involved in the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the protesters used a simulation of blood to spell out “Breonna” at the intersection of 79th Street and Racine Avenue.
Demonstrators led by the Rev. Michael Pfleger voiced their outrage that no officer faces charges directly in the Taylor shooting.
“I’m here because I feel the pain of Breonna’s mother,” said Louise Craan.
Craan was among the hundreds who stood in solidarity.
“Every life matters, but our lives matter when we are dying in our homes,” she said.
The crowd made it very clear they were not happy about the grand jury decision.
“That verdict wasn’t justice at all. It wasn’t justice, and I think that we as Black people and as Americans need to go out and protest, that’s really it,” said Sandra Flowers. “I’m here because I want to see 21. That’s what I’m here for – I want to see 21. I feel like I have so much more to bring to this country and I want to be able to bring it and I want to be able to do it peacefully.”
Pfleger’s mission was to bring traffic to a halt – and at least for a moment, make other people understand their pain.
“Breonna Taylor died and nobody in government gave a damn, or law enforcement, that she died,” Pfleger said.
Protesters spent about an hour at the scene. Chicago Transit Authority bus services were disrupted during the process.
Tommy Holiday was among those who got stuck in traffic.
“I guess I don’t mind,” he said. “I don’t have a choice. Do I think it’s right? I do understand.
More than six months after Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot dead by police in her Louisville home, a grand jury has indicted one officer in relation to shooting into her neighbor’s apartment — but no officers were indicted for their role in Taylor’s death.
Former officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment and two other officers who opened fire were not indicted.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the results of the grand jury proceedings in a press conference at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort. He called Taylor’s death a tragedy but said it was his job to put emotions aside and determine whether criminal statutes were violated.
At the St. Sabina protest, the group called for revised laws when it comes to protecting officers. The Rev. Michael Pfleger also noted that a new police contract is in the works, and said the public should know what is in the contract before a deal is made.
“Police are too protected in this country,” Pfleger said. “When police do wrong, they have to go to jail.”