Protesters Jam Chicago’s Loop, Lake Shore Drive After NYC Chokehold Death Decision

The demonstrators were heard chanting "I can't breathe"

Hundreds of demonstrators marched in Chicago's Loop and stopped traffic on Lake Shore Drive and the Dan Ryan Expressway Thursday protesting a grand jury’s decision not to indict a New York City police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six.

Throughout all of the action, police said four people were ultimately charged with misdemeanors.

The protest started around 5 p.m. near State Street and Jackson Avenue and turned south on State Street. Police were seen blocking protesters from some streets as marchers moved toward Roosevelt and Wabash.

Hundreds of protesters were blocking traffic in Chicago’s Loop as part of a protest against police brutality.

The protesters began staging a "die in" at Roosevelt around 6 p.m., blocking traffic for roughly 10 minutes. Traffic in the area was already snarled ahead of a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field.

The march intertwined with crowds of Bears fans walking to Soldier Field and blocked some roads in the process.

Demonstrators walked chanting "We can't breathe" and "Hands up, don't shoot."

During the march, several protesters broke free from the group and sprinted past police, blocking the southbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway briefly during rush hour before police forced them to the shoulder.

They were later seen marching down Lake Shore Drive, walking through stopped vehicles on the roadway.

The evening rally comes after hundreds of demonstrators blocked a Chicago intersection earlier in the afternoon as part of another protest against police brutality.

University of Chicago students stage a “die-in,” blocking traffic on the South Side in response to a New York grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner. Meanwhile, Father Michael Pfleger urges church congregations to stage their own protests come Sunday. Regina Waldroup reports.

The march began after activists hosted a "die in" on the University of Chicago campus where they lay in the grass and a student walkway chanting "I can’t breathe" and "no justice, no peace."

The demonstration and chant were sparked by amateur video showing Garner saying,
"I can’t breathe!" nearly a dozen times during a July altercation with police.

Protesters were urged to wear all black or all dark colors.

Organizers said the movement was focused on "the black lives that have repeatedly been stolen by a racist police system."

Only black students were seen on the ground during the "die in" with other students surrounding them holding signs and banners with the #BlackLivesMatter.

The demonstrators then marched to 55th Street and Woodlawn Avenue in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood and blocked traffic as they protested.

The protest was one of many around the country following the Staten Island grand jury decision and the Ferguson, Missouri decision.

PHOTOS: Eric Garner Protests in NYC

In New York, some protesters headed toward Rockefeller Center in an apparent effort to disrupt the tree lighting ceremony but were unable to get past police. Protesters there tried to mix with spectators, holding up signs and placards reading, “Black lives matter” and, “Once again injustice.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton announced Wednesday he and the Garners, along with the families of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old killed in Ferguson, Missouri, by a police officer a grand jury also declined to indict, and Akai Gurley, the man killed by an NYPD officer in a dark Brooklyn housing project stairwell last month, will lead a national march in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 13. Several other civil rights groups said Thursday they would join the march to kick of a year of focus on "justice and jobs."

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