Protesters Demand Trauma Center At U of C Hospital

Group returns to the new complex after four protesters were arrested Sunday

Monday, Jan 28, 2013  |  Updated 7:02 PM CDT
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Monday's protest has been building since 1988 when the university closed its trauma center. Nesita Kwan reports.

Monday's protest has been building since 1988 when the university closed its trauma center. Nesita Kwan reports.

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Demonstrators returned to the University of Chicago Hospital Complex Monday after four people were arrested during a protest demanding a trauma center at the new facility.

About 50 demonstrators converged at the hospital's new center at 57th and Maryland, threatening to stay until U of C officials committed to extending age limits for patients at the new Children's Trauma Center.

The group, Fearless Leading by the Youth, said protesters were arrested Sunday after U of C police used unnecessary force when they arrested the four Sunday night.

Hospital officials said the group gained unauthorized entry to the new hospital building, which hasn't opened yet.

"They were asked to leave, but refused," the hospital said in a statement. "Four protesters were arrested. The University of Chicago takes this incident very seriously, and as the investigation continues today, officials are working to better understand and address what took place."

Some of those arrested now face criminal trespass, but once released Monday morning they returned to the demonstration.

The group said its co-founder, Damian Turner, died three years ago after he was shot by a stray bullet four blocks from the U of C. Turner bled to death during the 10-mile ride to the nearest adult trauma center at Northwestern Hospital, the group says.

"We feel abused and disrespected and not heard but we are proud of what we did," the group said in a statement. "We actually took action and showed them three years later we’re not going away."

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