- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - Thousands of people marched through the streets of Chicago on Saturday, chanting and waving signs to protest the death of George Floyd and the police mistreatment of people of color.

The largest march kicked off from a park on the city’s near West Side where organizers urged protesters to remain peaceful before the crowd headed north.

Thousands walked through the streets of nearby neighborhoods, chanting, carrying signs and occasionally kneeling silently. Overhead video showed the marchers filling the streets for several blocks.

“We have the first amendment right to gather peacefully in protest,” organizer Dom Brown told the Chicago Tribune. “We want justice for every black life brutally taken by police.”

Like many of the protests held elsewhere, the ones in Chicago toward the end of the week were peaceful and police also reported fewer arrests related to unrest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was hopeful that would continue through the weekend, but she kept a nightly curfew in effect.

City officials on Friday also announced closures of downtown highway ramps and roads, including a stretch of Lake Shore Drive.

The city also hired three private security firms to protect shops, grocery stores and pharmacies, particularly on the South and West sides, where police received numerous reports of vandalism and theft from businesses last weekend.

“The new guards are unarmed and solely in place to monitor activity on commercial corridors and notify the Chicago Police Department if any illegal activity occurs,” Lightfoot’s office said in a statement.

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