Hundreds return to Loop for George Floyd protests

Hundreds return to Loop for George Floyd protests

Protesters gather Saturday at Federal Plaza. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Protests a day earlier led to 108 arrests and a dozen injured officers. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city would “give people space to express themselves… but we won’t tolerate lawlessness.”

Crowds returned to downtown Chicago Saturday afternoon for a second day of protests, as outrage continues to pulse across the United States in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

Hundreds of people began gathering at Federal Plaza about 2 p.m. again chanting and demanding “Justice for George,” before marching through the Loop.

More than 4,000 indicated they’d show up for the demonstration in a Facebook event listing.

Protesters begin marching Saturday from Federal Plaza. Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Protesters begin marching Saturday from Federal Plaza.

City officials had braced for a sizable showing, enacting a sweeping downtown parking ban that restricted vehicles from Chicago Avenue south to Congress and from Lake Shore Drive west to Wells.

It all followed protests Friday that included several hundred protesters who marched through downtown streets until early Saturday.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said that was mostly peaceful, though a series of tense confrontations led to 108 arrests and about a dozen injured officers, including one who suffered a broken wrist. Several Loop storefronts were smashed.

Protesters march through River North Friday.Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Protesters march through River North Friday.

“We’re going to give people space to express themselves,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said hours before the latest protest. “That’s what we do in Chicago, but we won’t tolerate lawlessness.

“If you think about what happened yesterday, the vast majority of people that were out there were doing exactly what we would expect: expressing themselves passionately, but doing so peacefully. And that’s our expectation for today, tomorrow and whenever this continues, that the vast majority of people that are out there are going to do so in a way that is constructive and productive and passionate — but peaceful,” Lightfoot said.

Unrest has filled cities across the nation since Floyd’s death Monday in Minneapolis at the knee of a white police officer now charged with third-degree murder.

Follow Chicago Sun-Times reporter Ben Pope and photographer Tyler LaRiviere for live coverage of the protest.

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