A small group of residents from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood ejected Black Lives Matter protesters who arrived for a demonstration at a local police precinct.
Several activist groups had organized a march leading to the 7th police precinct in Englewood. However, an organizer later told Fox 32 that groups decided to leave after confrontations with nearby residents left them feeling “unsafe.”
“If you ain’t from Englewood, get the f*** out of here!” resident Darryl Smith shouted at the protesters. Residents engaged in pushing matches with some of the protesters.
“They were…gonna come to Englewood, antagonizing our police, and then when they go back home to the North Side in Indiana, our police are bitter and they’re beating up our little black boys,” Smith told Fox. Charles McKenzie, of a community violence-prevention group called God’s Gorillas, concurred, saying “We refuse to let anyone come to Englewood and tear it up.”
Protesters maintained that they had come to demonstrate peacefully in favor of defunding the police. Organizers from one of the protest groups, GoodKids MadCity, said that they were themselves residents of Englewood, but that others in the neighborhood did not support eliminating the police entirely.
Englewood has long been plagued by gun violence, including this year as Chicago sees a spike in shootings and homicides. Chicago police recorded 440 homicides and 2,240 shooting victims in the first seven months of 2020, up from 290 homicides and 1,480 shooting victims the previous year.
On Sunday, police shot and wounded a 20-year-old who allegedly fired on officers, an incident that sparked confrontations with police after rumor spread that the wounded suspect was a child. That night, what appeared to be organized looters ransacked Chicago’s downtown.
“A lot of people saying the looting sparked from Englewood. We’re not having that. It didn’t spark from Englewood,” Smith said. “Those [looters] are opportunists, and we’re tired of Englewood getting a black eye for any and everything that happens.”