Rahm Emanuel

Protesters Demand Changes in Policing During Police Chiefs Conference in Chicago

Police have not confirmed any arrests, but several people were led from the protest in handcuffs

Police officers and protesters clashed outside of a planned conference for police chiefs at McCormick Place in Chicago Saturday afternoon.

The crowd of demonstrators first gathered outside police headquarters at 35th and Michigan Avenue, and then they marched up King Drive toward McCormick Place, where police chiefs from across the country gathered for a conference with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Police have not confirmed any arrests, but several people were led from the protest in handcuffs.

The protesters came from several different organizations, but they were all involved in the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Some demonstrators sat in the street and temporarily blocked the intersections at Cermak and Indiana and Cermak and Prairie. Others chanted phrases such as "We got to stop the cops and fund black futures." A large police presence stood alongside the protesters.

The group also placed a black flag outside of McCormick Place, but the Chicago Fire Department removed it during the demonstration.

Inside the building, Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed the group of police chiefs and spoke about Chicago's strategy of community policing. He also discussed the department's efforts to curb violence by getting illegal guns off the streets. According to the mayor, Chicago police have taken more than 5,500 illegal guns off the street so far this year.

The conference came on the heels of a forum at the University of Chicago where FBI Director James Comey addressed the uptick in violent crimes in major cities across the country. Comey attributed the increase in these crimes, in part, to anxiety among officers caused by the ever-present cellphone cameras and viral videos capturing police tactics.

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