I'm going to admit that the national climate and the realities of life have made it hard to find pride in my surroundings. That said, this weekend, I'll say that my respect for Chicago was in full effect as I witnessed how the city responded to the Van Dyke verdict. I'm going to refrain from using this space to dig into the specifics because I choose to limit my discussion of that subject especially on a blog that focuses on spotlighting why I have so much pride for this city.
That said, what I'm proud of is how this city reacted and handled the verdict.
If you read stories before the verdict, the city had prepared for angry protests, deploying thousands of officers throughout the city. However, after the judgment was returned, cops went unutilized, and although demonstrations continued, city activity largely remained peaceful.
Now, of course, there's no telling how that could have turned out, but I would say that in the wake an emotionally charged day, it made happy to see that people were able to demonstrate peacefully and respectfully.
Moreover, even in the wake of the news, Chicago police were patient with protestors, managing crowds, protecting residents who chose to express their thoughts in the form of protesting.
There is no denying Chicago headlines aren't always the most favorable, but these are the kind of stories that should get national airtime but don't. Can you imagine seeing nationally? Chicago protestors demonstrate peacefully, no arrests made. Probably not, but it would be great to see.
At the end of the day, the city is filled with residents that care about their hometown and want to ensure that justice is done.
Here's to hoping we can see more neutral headlines across the nation about Chicago and not just locally.