VIDEO: Police victim reparations fuel ‘Black Lives’ movement

Chicago PD officers stand outside Cook County Jail as protesters march on International Workers Day. (Sean Froelich/Medill)

By Sean Froelich

Wallace “Gator” Bradley, a former enforcer for the Gangster Disciples and current community activist, believes progress has been made in the national movement condemning police violence.

Multiple marches and protests have been held citywide to protest police brutality. Protests across Chicago have remained mostly peaceful. (Sean Froelich, Anne Arntson and Brian MacIver/Medill)

Change has come. Bradley attended City Hall on Wednesday to hear the Council approve $5.5 million in reparations for victims of torture at the hands of former Chicago Police Commissioner Jon Burge.

“I know a lot of individuals that was tortured by Jon Burge,” said Bradley who has often been outspoken about seeking reparations for the victims, living and dead.

Protesters across the country have been calling for justice for the deaths of those, mainly black males, who have died during police confrontations.

Bradley said the recent arrest of police officers in Baltimore was the first instance he heard an officer “scream for a special prosecutor.”

“So we need to go with the growth and development of justice that’s happening. Now the police feel they got to scream for a justice they was denying someone else,” Bradley said.

But the protests have received plenty of negative reaction. Riots have occurred in both Baltimore and Ferguson. President Barack Obama called those who participated in riots “thugs.” Bradley did not condone violent action.

“It took the focus off the criminals [cops arrested in Freddie Gray’s death] and put it on the new criminals. We in Chicago are against anybody that want to burn and loot the city of Chicago,” Bradley said.

Photo at top: Chicago Police officers stand outside Cook County Jail as protesters march on International Workers’ Day. (Sean Froelich/Medill)