An anti-violence protest shut down the local lanes of the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway on Thursday afternoon, with the “Dreadhead Cowboy” joining the protesters and posting a video of the shutdown to Facebook.
Adam Hollingsworth, who became well-known in the city for riding his horse during a variety of protests and events, recorded video of the protest Thursday afternoon. Illinois State Police temporarily shut down the local outbound lanes of the roadway near Garfield Boulevard.
“Dan Ryan shutdown part two,” Hollingsworth tweeted. “This is for u, Vee Smith.”
Verndall “Vee” Smith was a dance coach on Chicago’s South Side who used his dance studio as a way to help steer kids away from a life of crime and violence. He was shot and killed earlier this month in the city’s Park Manor neighborhood, and his death shocked residents of the area.
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Ja’Mal Green, a noted Chicago anti-violence activist, tweeted that the protest was spearheaded by Tyrone Muhammad of the group “Ex-Cons for Social Change:”
“Our brother Tyrone Muhammad of Ex-cons for social change just shut down the Dan Ryan in hopes to raise awareness to our kids being killed,” he said. “Officers assaulted protesters and arrested him and two others. It’s honestly a shame we gotta be ‘radical’ in order for authorities to listen.”
State police say that the roadway was blocked at approximately 3:09 p.m. Illinois Department of Transportation vehicles were able to relocate vehicles off of the highway, and the road was reopened just before 4 p.m.
While state police did not specify how many individuals were arrested, they did say that multiple arrests were made, and that the investigation is still "in its infancy."
Hollingsworth garnered national headlines last summer when he rode his horse down the Dan Ryan Expressway, snarling traffic. He was ultimately arrested and charged with a felony count of animal cruelty, along with a series of other misdemeanors in connection with the Sept. 2020 incident.