CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Angry and frustrated protesters took to the streets, and took over the streets, in the Loop and on the Dan Ryan Expressway Thursday evening. A group of about 300 people ramped up their message as they headed down the Dan Ryan exit ramp at Garfield Boulevard and brought rush hour traffic to a standstill.
First it was just in the local lanes, but then the crowd of mostly young people climbed the barrier and also shut down the express lanes. All the while, police kept the peace.
But while motorists may have supported the cause, they were in no mood for the traffic shutdown.
“Everybody got their right to protest whatever they want to do you know what I'm saying, I gotta go home. I worked 14 hours today, I'm tired, I want to go home,” said Will Couret, who got caught in traffic.
But protesters said they were tired of white police officers killing black men and they weren't too concerned about impacting people's commute.
“I have a son and I don’t want the police to kill him. We pay their salaries and we should not be afraid of anybody that’s supposed to serve and protect us. I mean we’re not taking this no more,” said Rhonda Patton.
The police shooting deaths of two young black men, in Minnesota and Louisiana in the last 48 hours, galvanized this group into action.
“You know I think over the past few years we've seen too many cases of police gunning down black men in the streets with complete impunity and I think we're all out here to say we're tired of it,” said Peta Lindsay.
Earlier, another group of protesters marched through the Loop chanting against police brutality. But when they tried to go into the Taste of Chicago, police set up a barricade and would not let them through.
The frustration for many has reached a boiling point where they are demanding something in the justice system to change.
The second protest wrapped up by shutting down the intersection of 51st and Wentworth right outside Area Central Police headquarters.
“Sitting behind my phone on Twitter, you know giving out information, giving out my perspectives was okay but I feel for me to actually come out here and be active, it's necessary,” said Javaughn Young-White.
More protests are expected in the coming days.