Protesters band together to stop police brutality

By The Columbia Chronicle

Rachael Silvers

Staff Writer

“Hey Daley, stop police brutality!” was chanted the masses of people that gathered to march against police brutality on the chilly afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 22 outside of the Daly Center. Against a backdrop of a pumpkin-decorated house, the rally took on the battle between good and evil.

Chicago police officers are required to be at any protest regardless of the cause. “I do believe in fair rights, but I think this is an oxymoron,” said a bike patrol officer. While it’s their job to serve and protect, police presence at any anti-police rally touches a sore spot. Some officers declined to even discuss their true feelings.

As she watched from atop the Picasso statue, seven-year-old Brittany Lindsey summed up the issue as only truth and innocence could: “Police are bad when they beat up people.”

Heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the victims and their families. Police brutality is unacceptable in this city and there are many groups that support that belief, such as The Coalition

Against Police Brutality, Refuse and Resist, The Black Panthers of Chicago and the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Survivors of police brutality took turns at the microphone and sent out positive messages to the crowd. Protestors were also instructed to contact the Office of Professional Standards if they encountered any forms of police brutality.

When Shirley Alejos stepped on stage, she held up an 8 X 10 inch photo which depicted her brutal attack at the hands of Chicago police officers. She brought a lawsuit against the two officers and settled successfully out of court. However, the officers guilty of administering the attack are still patrolling the streets of Chicago.

Through an interpreter, Ilsa Guillen told of the vicious attack on her husband three years ago that lead to his death. Jorge Guillen was killed by three Chicago police officers and to date, none of them have been punished. Ilsa Guillen knows who the three officers are and would like to make their names public knowledge.

The Coalition Against Police Brutality offered red carnations to members of the victims’ families midway through the protest. Bessie Perkins tearfully accepted a carnation in memory of her daughter, Frankie Perkins, who was killed by police in 1997. Bessie Perkins clutched the carnation and two photos. One was of happier times with Frankie Perkins posing with her son and daughter. The other photo was of a deceased Frankie Perkins, after she was beaten to death by police.

“She was walking down the street and accosted in front of witnesses,” said Bessie Perkins. According to Perkins’ lawyer, Dan Alexander, the case will be in federal court in about three months. “Officers Holfer and McCarthy did this to Frankie Perkins,” said Dan Alexander. “It’s public knowledge at this point.”

The protestors banded together and marched around the courthouse and the Daley Center in a very somber procession. Banners with messages against police brutality were held high, as were photos of the abused and deceased. Chicago police on foot, horseback, bikes and four-wheeler lined the curbs and kept the marchers safe from any automobile traffic. The police stood silent and proud as angry protestors yelled and snorted at them.