CHICAGO — A group gathered on the Chicago’s South Side Saturday to protest the recent police killing of two Black women.
Local leaders with Black Lives Matter Chicago, SOUL and the Chicago Torture Justice Center organized the rally in Woodlawn in response to 22-year-old Jada Johnson being shot and killed by police in Fayetteville, NC on July 1 and 64-year-old Madeline Miller being shot and killed by police in Flossmoor on July 10.
Police said officers shot Miller three times after she charged toward officers with a knife near 194th Street and Joyce Drive. Body cam shows the officers firing a total of three shots. A call for EMS followed. Miller was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Several people who spoke at the rally wondered whether Miller posed a threat to police.
“She was a small, little thing … from what I saw, they could’ve used less force,” said Diane Fields, Miller’s sister. “Tase her if it was that serious because … from what I saw, she was nowhere around them.”
Organizers said that they hope the rally will help push for better mental health resources for law enforcement.
“We are here to make Madeline’s life matter and to also know Jada’s life mattered,” said Tree Tendaji, an organizer at the event. “We are also here to say that people in mental health crisis, just like those in a physical health crisis, need and deserve care, not armed response.”