Burger King manager believes Chicago cops deleted surveillance footage after …

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A sad week, but one that can advance us.

CHICAGO — Hundreds of demonstrators on Friday marched down the middle of North Michigan Avenue, the city’s premier downtown shopping district, forcing the police to close the six-lane thoroughfare to vehicles and prompting some businesses to lock their doors for at least part of one of the busiest shopping days of the year.It was the week when important people in fancy clothes gathered in the grand old Chicago Theatre to celebrate the premiere of Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” a movie about the city’s poverty and violence.

Anger built, justifiably, when the long-delayed release of a video showed Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Thirteen months!” they chanted, about the number of bullet wounds in the teenager, Laquan McDonald, and the length of time it took to bring charges this week against the officer.

But black citizens and activists are enraged about the killing and the fact that officials held onto the video for more than a year before making it public. Chicago police and prosecutors announced they had charged a known gang member with the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who was lured into an alley and shot, allegedly in retaliation for his father’s gang activities.

Bobby Rush and Danny Davis walked with the throng, which pushed off from just north of the Chicago River and congregated in front of Water Tower Place about a mile north. McDonald had a knife in his hand, and, reportedly, PCP in his system, but he was not, as police claimed right after the shooting, lunging toward the officers. Although police in Chicago, like officials in Kansas City, often bemoan a lack of cooperation, that wasn’t the case with this outrageous murder of an innocent child.

Why don’t they tackle the violence in their own communities?” She nodded again when he said of McDonald’s killing, “Mistakes do happen.” Apple wasn’t the only store affected by the clash. Groups demonstrated Friday in other cities, including Seattle, Minneapolis and New York, linking their protests over police conduct and the treatment of black people to a day when the nation’s focus is usually on the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Protesters blocked the entrances to dozens of high-end stores, turning a handful of customers away by force and dissuading many more simply by their presence. Almost as dismaying was the sight, seen from a different video, of other officers arriving at the scene and walking past McDonald’s body as if it were no more consequential than an animal’s.

Here, demonstrators said it was time for all Chicagoans — including those who shop at high-end stores like Burberry, Tiffany & Company and Coach along Michigan Avenue — to think deeply about the death of Mr. Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret, Burberry, the Disney Store and Brooks Brothers were among those blocked for parts of the afternoon. There’s little question the department has made progress under Forté’s leadership. “Police investigations of officer-involved shootings are based on facts,” he wrote, saying experienced detectives conduct the investigation and present the findings to a prosecutor, who decides if the officer acted within the law. “Presenting emotion-heavy stories, out-of-context videos and putting ‘experts’ on television or in print who don’t know all of the facts of an incident is a disservice to everyone,” Forté wrote.

The political theater overshadowed grief for McDonald, who was trying to get his life on track after a childhood of abuse and abandonment spent in and out of foster care. Retailers reluctant to discuss what effect the protests had on their bottom line declined to talk on the record, and determining the protest’s impact was made harder by both a growing trend toward online holiday shopping and miserable November weather that likely kept some shoppers and protesters at home.

Invisible on the video and yet entirely present are all the powerful forces that contributed to McDonald’s running from the cops that October night: entrenched poverty, intractable racism, broken families, the drug economy, all the violence and dysfunction that grow from poisoned soil. Angelica Delgado, 29, from the city’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, said barring shoppers from stores was “ignorant” and that they should keep their protest on the street. “Other people shouldn’t have to pay for what happened to him,” she said. “I feel sorry for him, and what they did is wrong, but don’t take away other people’s freedom.” The video has drawn nationwide attention to the 17-year-old’s October 2014 death, and the march Friday along the Magnificent Mile on a cold, wet day was the most prominent demonstration by those critical of the incident and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to it. What few shoppers there were browsed clothes and gadgets to piped-in Muzak and Frank Sinatra Christmas songs while a few feet away outside, protesters chanted through bullhorns. In one exchange, two women who were seeking lunch got in a spirited argument about which was the entrance to the Ralph Lauren store and which was the entrance to the Ralph Lauren restaurant, with a protester telling them, “Ain’t no shopping here today.” “I thought it was a joke,” said frustrated West Loop resident Nilo Khan, 30, after she and other shoppers were turned away from Zara by protesters. “We’re not trying to stop them from protesting, so why should they stop us from shopping?” Some shoppers managed to break through the protesters’ line.

At Topshop, a middle-aged man in a ball cap bearing “Iowa” punched his way through the line in a successful effort to get access to cut-price British fashions. She was protesting “to make people that can’t see know that black lives matter,” she said. “I think it’s great that our kids can see this,” said Andy Palms, who came with his wife and three children from Ann Arbor, Mich., to shop and celebrate Thanksgiving in Chicago. “If I’d known, I would have waited until Cyber Monday. Friday’s demonstrators included a large contingent from the Chicago Teachers Union, which mobilized opposition to Emanuel’s re-election bid early this year. “I’m outraged,” said Gabriel Sheridan, a teacher at Ray Elementary School in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. “The mistreatment of people and corruption in this city, I don’t think it’s specific to Chicago but I’m pretty outraged that my students have to live in fear every day. “The path forward is to keep people united, to keep people watching out for each other, to try to teach people to treat each other with respect and kindness.” After announcing that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis would attend the Friday event, CTU officials later said she was not on hand. He said he lived in Flossmoor but also keeps a downtown condo, and that he “doesn’t really believe in protesting.” “I grew up in Italy under Mussolini — I wasn’t brought up with all this,” he confided with a smile, gesturing to the crowd, which was chanting that McDonald had been shot 16 times. “There was more discipline and law and order.” “My mother always said that before Mussolini came to power it was lawless,” he added, before gesturing to the crowd again and adding, “it was like this.”

Evana Enabulele said she attended that protest to speak out against police brutality. “I’m black,” she said, “and it could happen to my brother, to my sister, to my mother.” “I’m tired as hell of having to convince people that I’m human,” Ms. McCarthy; the Cook County state’s attorney, Anita Alvarez; and Mayor Emanuel for not moving faster in the case and for refusing to release the police video of the shooting until this week.

By coincidence, last week marked the 28th anniversary of the surprise death of Mayor Harold Washington, the city’s first African-American mayor, whose name lives on as a reminder of the hopes for a more equitable Chicago.

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