A planned protest by Black Lives Matter activists on Friday at Marist High School in Mount Greenwood on the Far South Side has been canceled over concerns about safety.
Instead, activists will meet with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Alderman Matt O’Shea (19th) and Marist High School Principal Larry Tucker, spokeswoman Rachael Perrotta said in a statement. The protest was cancelled after online messages threatened violence against the protesters.
Black Lives Matter Youth and Walter Payton College Prep’s Black Student Union had planned to meet at Wrigley Square Millennium Park and travel to Marist High School to denounce “the racist response of locals in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood and students at Marist High School to the murder of Joshua Beal.”
Beal, 25, of Indianapolis was shot to death after he pointed a gun at an off-duty officer and others during a traffic dispute Saturday afternoon in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the Southwest Side, authorities said.
Since Beal’s shooting, Black Live Matter and Blue Lives Matter supporters have verbally clashed in protests near where Beal was fatally shot in Mount Greenwood.
Officials at Marist High School, a private Catholic school in Mount Greenwood, said they decided to cancel classes on Friday due to safety concerns for students and to limit disruptions on school grounds, the school announced on its website Thursday. The decision was also made after school officials learned that a five block stretch in front of the school, 4200 W. 115th St., would be blocked starting at noon Friday for the protest.
Marist officials released a statement Monday after they were made aware of “racially charged” posts on social media that involved students at the school. The students involved faced disciplinary action, the school said.
“Racism is a sin and has no place in the Church, including the Archdiocese of Chicago,” Archbishop Blase J. Cupich said in a statement supporting disciplinary action against the students.