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Protesters Hold ‘Healing Circle’ At Site Where Adam Toledo Was Shot And Killed By Police; ‘Our Presence Is A Form Of Resistance’

CHICAGO (CBS) — The outcry over the Chicago Police killing of 13-year old Adam Toledo is growing louder this weekend, as more peaceful protests and vigils played out across the city.

CBS 2’s Steven Graves reports protesters gathered in Adam’s neighborhood in Little Village on Saturday. The protest was not as big or loud as the demonstration in Logan Square on Friday, but organizers said their cultural display of healing and spirituality on Saturday spoke volumes.

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It was demonstration at 13-year old Adam Toledo’s memorial in Little Village that didn’t bring loud calls for justice, but a small stance of solidarity called a healing circle.

“Our presence is a form of resistance,” organizer Sandra Santiago said. “We’re practicing the ancestral practices, and so we will not be eradicated, and so we are present, and so this unification helps to bring that message and hopefully motivate people to do something.”

“We need to create changes in our institutions. We need to create changes in ourselves,” said Little Village resident Susana Banuelos. “We’re becoming more and more aware of how racist our societies are.”

This small gathering happened at the spot where a Chicago Police officer shot Adam Toledo dead.

Body camera video shows his hands were raised, his hands empty, at the moment a police officer shot him in the chest, though in the moment just before that, it appeared Adam had a gun in his right hand behind his back.

Police chased him moments before after responding to ShotSpotter reports of gunfire.

Banuelos said she truly believes, if Adam didn’t look how he looked, he would not be dead.

And Adam’s supporters said the healing circle is just as important as taking to the streets in a loud protest.

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“They go hand in hand,” Banuelos said.

She took to the streets of Logan Square in a peaceful protest Friday night.

The calls for justice grew louder, and the push to defund police got stronger on Saturday.

“We are calling for organizations to be at the forefront. We’re calling for resources to be poured back into these communities, because we are seeing how we keep each other safe and the police do not,” protest co-organizer Damayanti Wallace said.

Tensions grew high as clashes broke out Friday at one point. Police arrested two men for aggression toward officers, one who told CBS 2 it was the other way around.

“Before I knew it, I felt the weight of at least 600 pounds on my back. There were five six officers on top of me,” said protester Anthony McCullom.

Friday night’s protest mainly stayed peaceful as of hundreds showed support that organizers say will continue.

“We understood that the families impacted by gun violence needed something like this. They needed to see that the community still cared,” Wallace said.

BLM Chicago called for charges to be dropped against McCullom and the other man arrested on misdemeanor charges at Friday’s protest.

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Meanwhile, more demonstrations are scheduled for Sunday. One will be a walk at the site where Adam was shot dead.

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