Lightford061920 1BROADVIEW—Communities in the West Suburbs came together on Juneteenth to celebrate both the end of slavery and to continue the fight for justice, equality and police accountability.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was joined by West Suburban Mayors Katrina Thompson, Andre Harvey, Edwenna Perkins, Rory Hoskins and other elected officials on Friday for a Juneteenth Police Accountability Protest.

Lightford not only wanted to shine a light on Juneteenth, Freedom Day for slaves in America, but she also calls for police accountability after seeing Chicago police officers sleeping on the job in Congressman Bobby Rush’s office on the South Side of Chicago.

“I know Juneteenth is supposed to be a celebration, but we are in the midst of a movement, so we have to address excessive force and the many other injustices,” Lightford said. “It is so unfortunate that Juneteenth and the vast majority of Black history is not being taught in our classrooms. We have to, as a people, celebrate our people, because no one else is celebrating us, but us.”

The march started at the Broadview Village Hall and ended in Forest Park on Circle Ave. and the Harrison St. Bridge.

Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson called on law enforcement to confront injustice when they see it.

“It’s time for police to police their brothers and sisters that wear the blue uniform, and protect the integrity of the badge,” Thompson said. “While it is important to recognize Juneteenth, we must acknowledge that the fight for freedom continues. Today we are making a firm commitment to change not just with words, but with action.”

Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Player Sterling Brown joined the march. He hails from Maywood.

“We can’t settle, and we can’t get complacent,” Brown said. “Ain’t nobody going to give it to us. We got to educate ourselves. We got to unify, and we got to put it in action.”

Ivoryana Neal, the local founder of Youth Lives Matter, called on everyone to raise their voices against discrimination and inequality.

“There's a big difference between being aware and doing something, and being aware and not doing anything,” Ivoryana said. “Being able to come together and stand together is more powerful than just knowing together. Looking at how people are being silent in the midst of these loud voices screaming shows their real thoughts.”

Masks, refreshments and census outreach were also available at the event.

At the end of the march, participants joined Forest Park Against Racism for a memorial honoring the lives of those killed by acts of racism.