Hundreds of people gathered in Chicago to protest the fatal police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, briefly blocking traffic on the Dan Ryan Expressway during the evening rush hour.
Roughly 400 people marched at 51st and Wentworth on the city's South Side beginning around 6 p.m. in a demonstration organized by Black Lives Matter. The march continued to the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway, blocking traffic at exit 57. Lanes of the expressway were reportedly closed between 47th Street and Garfield Boulevard, but protesters were said to be moving off just before 7 p.m.
"It sucks to have a traffic jam but it also sucks to lose a son, a daughter or father or mother," said protester Mereya Goetzinger.
Marchers held signs that read "Justice for Alton and Philando Now" and "No safe haven for killer cops."
"I want justice and I'm tired of the stories," said protester Kyla Peck.
Chicago's Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. earlier urged for calm but also called for “mass disciplined marches” across the country in response to the fatal police shootings.
"To be silent...silence would be consent," Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said Thursday. "There must be marches around the nation."
"The extent to which black people ever got any rights is the extent to which we organize and fight for them," said protester Peta Lindsay.
Castile, 32, was killed Wednesday night in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota during a traffic stop. His girlfriend, who recorded the aftermath of the shooting, said Castile did “nothing but what the police officer asked of us, which was to put your hands in the air and get your license and registration.”
Reynolds told reporters Thursday the couple and her daughter had gone shopping and Castile had just been to the barber for his upcoming birthday when a St. Anthony cop pulled them over.
Reynolds said the officer asked them to put their hands in the air, and they complied. The officer then asked Castile, who was driving, for his identification.
She said he kept it in a wallet in a right-back pants pocket.
"As he's reaching, he lets the officer know, 'I have a firearm on me,'" Reynolds said, adding that he was licensed to carry and "nothing in his body said intimidation."
That's when the officer, she said, drew his weapon and fired off up to five shots at Castile, ordering, "Don't move, don't move."
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said he was "shocked and deeply, deeply offended" that an incident like this took place in Minnesota. He said the officer's response was "way in excess" for a traffic stop.
Dayton said the investigation will be handled by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension — a branch of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The agency will work closely with federal officials who will monitor the investigation, he said.
It's the second police-involved shooting of a black man to gain nationwide attention in as many days.
Sterling was killed by police during a confrontation at a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His death all caught on camera, with footage appearing to show the 37-year-old being tackled and shot as two cops pin him to the ground. The U.S. Department of Justice said it will investigate that death.
President Obama was "deeply disturbed" by the two shootings, according to a White House spokesman.
Protest organizers are calling for an economic boycott on the Magnificent Mile on July 30.