Rally re­lo­cated af­ter long­time En­gle­wood res­i­dents push back against po­lice re­form pro­test­ers

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY SAM CHARLES, STAFF RE­PORTER scharles@sun­times.com | @samjcharle­s

Duane Kidd was an­gry, and he didn’t mince words.

Stand­ing in the mid­dle of 63rd Street, en­cir­cled by po­lice re­form pro­test­ers, the 42-year-old life­long res­i­dent of En­gle­wood yelled: “None of th­ese m-----f------ are gonna be here to­mor­row. That’s why I got a prob­lem.”

Kidd and sev­eral other long­time res­i­dents of En­gle­wood pushed back on a rally in the neigh­bor­hood Tues­day evening that was planned by sev­eral lo­cal po­lice re­form or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Kidd, res­i­dents of the South Side neigh­bor­hood were given no prior no­tice of the rally. He was es­pe­cially con­cerned that En­gle­wood com­mu­nity mem­bers would bear the brunt if ten­sions flared up be­tween po­lice and non-res­i­dents.

“They didn’t let the com­mu­nity know. They didn’t put fly­ers on peo­ple’s doors,” Kidd said. “If they would’ve got­ten some­thing in­cited with the po­lice, who’s gotta deal with it to­mor­row? The com­mu­nity. Not them. They’ll be some­where sip­ping san­gria some­where. I’m telling you like it is.”

About 75 peo­ple joined the rally, which was or­ga­nized by the Chicago Al­liance Against Racist and Po­lit­i­cal Re­pres­sion, Black Lives Mat­ter, South Siders Or­ga­nized for Unity and Lib­er­a­tion and Good Kids/Mad City.

“If your is­sue is with the po­lice, take it to 35th and Michi­gan [where CPD head­quar­ters is lo­cated]. Don’t come in En­gle­wood with it,” Dar­ryl Smith, pres­i­dent of the En­gle­wood Po­lit­i­cal Task Force, told re­porters Tues­day. “If the peo­ple on 56th Street want to come over and protest the po­lice, they can do it. But no one from the North Side or In­di­ana or any place other than En­gle­wood can come here and do that.”

Smith, us­ing a mega­phone, also chided the pro­test­ers di­rectly, say­ing: “Y’all don’t come out when a kid gets shot. Y’all come out when it’s got some­thing to do with the f------ po­lice.”

Af­ter they were met with re­sis­tance from lo­cals, rally or­ga­niz­ers opted to move the gath­er­ing from out­side the CPD’s En­gle­wood sta­tion to Og­den Park, just a block south.

The half-hour rally fea­tured danc­ing and chants dis­parag­ing Mayor Lori Light­foot, the CPD and its bud­get.

Rally or­ga­niz­ers saw the non-res­i­dents far more fa­vor­ably than long­time En­gle­wood denizens, and they of­fered their thanks to those who made the trip to the neigh­bor­hood.

The rally was called in re­sponse to the po­lice shoot­ing of La­trell Allen over the week­end. Allen, 20, was shot by of­fi­cers near 57th and Racine af­ter, of­fi­cials say, he fired a gun at po­lice. Allen has since been charged with two counts of at­tempted mur­der and one count of un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a weapon.

Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment lead­ers have said that mis­in­for­ma­tion about the shoot­ing raised ten­sions among South Side res­i­dents and, ul­ti­mately, led to the wide­spread loot­ing in the down­town area be­tween late Sun­day and early Mon­day.

TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES

Dar­ryl Smith, pres­i­dent of the En­gle­wood Po­lit­i­cal Task Force, chides pro­test­ers Tues­day out­side the CPD’s En­gle­wood Dis­trict sta­tion.

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