Chicago Youth Nonprofit Sues City After Police Raid Over Free Food for Protesters
A Chicago nonprofit that works on behalf of the city’s young adults sued the city this week. The lawsuit was filed by Chicago Freedom School (CFS)—an acclaimed nonprofit that provides support and educational programs for young Chicagoans—against the city, three police officers, and the Chicago Department for Business Affairs & Consumer Protection.
CFS alleges Chicago officials illegally raided a group facility on May 30 after the group offered a safe space to young city residents who had been protesting the police killings of George Floyd and other black Americans. The suit claims the city and its employees violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and Illinois state law, including state civil rights laws.
As the suit details, many protesters were caught off guard by a curfew the suit contends wasn’t even announced until anywhere from minutes before, to minutes after, it was set to take effect. Chicago government’s failure to notify protesters was exacerbated when the city also halted public transportation and ordered bridges downtown to be raised. Those actions by the city trapped many protesters downtown, both mandating they go home and leaving them without any legal or practical means to do so.
Left without other options, some protesters trapped by the city’s furtive curfew and closures sought refuge at CFS after several tweets invited them to do so.
“Two aldermen and other frontline organizers tweeted to let protesters know to head to the Freedom School if they needed free food, or just to charge their phones and drink some water,” Block Club Chicago reported. “The school was also organizing rides home for protesters stranded due to the curfew and [transit] stoppage.”
Police came, too, accompanying city regulators, the suit details. Once there, they “deman
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