Chicago Protests: City Starts to Reopen, Marches Continue

Hundreds of people gathered peacefully across Chicago again Wednesday as protests continued following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

At the same time, businesses across the city continued clean-up efforts after looting and vandalism in many neighborhoods amid the unrest.

Many of those businesses were looking to recover from their losses as they welcomed customers for the first time in months on Wednesday, as the city entered its third phase of its reopening plan during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the latest developments from across Chicago:

8:30 p.m.: Green Line Trains Not Stopping at 35th Street

Most of the street closures caused by protests in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood have been cleared, but CTA Green Line trains are not stopping at 35th Street, according to police.

Authorities say that 35th Street is closed between Normal Avenue and the Dan Ryan Expressway for a "security perimeter."

6:43 p.m.: Street Closures Remain in Place Due to Bronzeville Protests

The CTA is already rerouting buses through the area, and Illinois State Police have shut down multiple exit ramps around the Bronzeville neighborhood due to protests Wednesday night.

According to the ISP, exit ramps off the Dan Ryan between 31st Street and 43rd Street are currently closed in both directions. The King Drive exit on the northbound Stevenson Expressway is also closed because of the demonstrations.

In the Bronzeville neighborhood, both 31st and 35th Streets are closed between Michigan Avenue and King Drive due to the marches.

6:07 p.m.: CTA Reroutes Buses, Illinois State Police Shut Down Dan Ryan Ramps Due to Protest

Protests are ongoing near the intersection of King Drive and 31st Street on Wednesday night, forcing the CTA and Illinois State Police to limit traffic congestion in the area.

According to state police, ramps from the Dan Ryan are closed at both 31st Street and 35th Street in both directions as of 5:45 p.m. due to the protest. The Interstate 55 northbound ramp at King Drive is also closed, police say.

Buses on several routes are also being rerouted in the area, according to the CTA:

5 p.m.: Metra Announces Service Changes for Remainder of Week

For the rest of the week, Metra says its rail service will continue to run on a modified schedule, with fewer trains running and the final trains of the day into and out of Chicago being canceled.

The service will run on a modified Sunday schedule, with several train lines continuing their suspension after unrest and protests led the agency to suspend all train service on Monday and Tuesday.

10 a.m.: March in Little Village

Residents of the city's Little Village neighborhood gathered at 10 a.m. for a march that organizers said was to "defend Black lives and call out the mayor."

Protest organizers alluded to "recent racist, anti-black actions" by some Little Village residents amid the unrest and claimed Mayor Lori Lightfoot focused policing efforts on protecting downtown while leaving some neighborhoods to "fend for themselves." Organizers also said police "stoked racial divisions" in Little Village.

"The facts just don't support the presumption that we did something more in downtown than we did in our neighborhoods," Lightfoot said Monday when asked about the first allegation, pointing to hundreds of arrests made on the South and West Sides. "All of our efforts yesterday were in the neighborhoods on the West and South sides."

On the second claim of tensions and violence between black and Latinx Chicagoans, a group of eight aldermen issued a statement Tuesday calling for unity.

"We denounce white supremacy, racism, economic exploitation, and anti-Blackness in all its forms," the group of aldermen said. "We call on our communities to end the violence directed towards Black Chicagoans living and working in our majority-Latinx neighborhoods. Latinidad is a panethnic identity that must recognize and celebrate Black Latinxs and the African roots shared across our Latinx cultures. We can only dismantle white supremacy through unity and solidarity. We stand with all Chicagoans peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd and an end to racist policing across the United States."

6 a.m.: CTA Service Resumes

CTA resumed train and bus service Wednesday morning, but will continue to bypass stops in the Loop.

Service resumed at 5 a.m., according to a statement from the transit authority. Trains will bypass stations at Jackson Boulevard, Clark and Lake Streets, State and Lake Streets, Lake Street, Grand Avenue, and Chicago Avenue.

Bus routes will also be rerouted in the downtown area, due to local street and bridge closures, officials said.

Chicago Enters Phase 3 of Reopening Plan

Chicago entered the third phase of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday as scheduled, even after protests and unrest gripped the city.

This next phase of reopening allows several businesses to reopen with new guidelines and limitations, and small non-essential gatherings of up to 10 people. Some of the businesses allowed to reopen include restaurants for outdoor dining with appropriate social distancing and sanitary measures.

Get a full breakdown of what can reopen in Chicago here.

8:50 p.m.: Curfew Remains, but Central Business District and Loop to Reopen

In anticipation of the third phase of Chicago's coronavirus reopening plan, Lightfoot announced that access to the Central District and the Loop would be restored after being restricted for several days.

According to the mayor, full access to the area will be reintroduced for all Chicagoans, but select closures and service interruptions will remain in effect until further notice.

The mayor also announced that the citywide curfew for all residents and visitors from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. will also remain in effect.

8:10 p.m.: Protests Continue in Bronzeville

A largely-peaceful protest continued Tuesday evening in the city's Bronzeville neighborhood, as hundreds marched through the city streets.

NBC 5's Mike Lorber was over the scene:

8 p.m.: Metra to Run Modified Schedule Wednesday

After service was suspended for the previous two days, Metra will resume train service on Wednesday, albeit with a modified slate of trains.

According to the agency, trains will run on a Sunday schedule, with the final inbound and outbound trains of the night canceled on all train lines that are running.

The agency has canceled train service over the last two days due to the continuing unrest around the area. Service was suspended at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and has yet to resume.

7 p.m.: Mayor Calls for Police Reforms, Sets Up Grant Fund to Help Businesses

As protests and civil unrest continue in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered a "State of the City" address on Tuesday evening, laying out several proposals for reform in the Chicago Police Department.

Lightfoot, speaking from City Hall, proposed several accountability measures, including more training for officers about the history of the communities they serve, additional wellness programs and expansion of an early intervention pilot program.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed city residents Tuesday in a speech aimed at contextualizing “events that have happened in recent days.”

The mayor also announced the funding of a $10 million grant fund, designed to help small businesses impacted by looting and vandalism in recent days. She also called on private equity and philanthropy to expand that fund to help as many businesses as possible.

2:30 p.m. Hundreds March From Wrigley Field in Protest That Stretches Blocks

Sky 5 was live over the scene of a large protest that began at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side. Hundreds marched from the stadium south on Clark Street in a demonstration that stretched for blocks, closing down roads in the area.

Hundreds of protesters turned out on Chicago's North Side Tuesday, and NBC 5's Phil Rogers has the story.

1:45 p.m. Police Say Nearly 400 Arrests Made in Chicago Monday

Chicago police say nearly 400 people were arrested Monday citywide, 146 of which were for looting.

The number is almost half the total arrests made in Chicago a day earlier.

See What Chicago, Michigan Avenue Looks Like After Night of Destruction Following Protests

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