On Thursday, artist and Chicago native Kanye West joined Chicago Public School students in one of the many marches across the city demanding that Chicago keeps police officers out of their schools.
The demonstration was joined by West, who earlier on Thursday, donated $2 million to the families and legal teams of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. West also set up a college savings fund for Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna.
The protest was organized by activist Ja’Mal Green several organizers and was held in protest against CPS' contract with the Chicago Police Department, organizers said.
“We’re doing this because we need the CPD out of our schools,” organizer Jalen Jobayashi said. “We live in an over-militarized, over-surveillance state. We are living in a state where police are out here killing out kids on their way to and from school.”
It began at the CPS office in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood on the South Side, followed by a march to CPD headquarters on Michigan Avenue.
A similar protest was held earlier on Thursday on the city’s North Side as students marched from Lincoln Park High School to Whitney Young High school with the same message.
“There’s nothing a cop can talk to me about to make me feel better,” one protester said. “If I’m going through trauma and suffering from watching black deaths, what does it look like getting up and watching an officer in my hallways?”
Organizers of the event cite the Minneapolis Public Schools' cancellation of its contract with local police after Floyd's death as a reference for their demands, which include the cancellation of the CPD contract and increasing funding for school therapists and art-based extracurricular activities, as well as mandatory education on the American history of race taught by black educators.