Protesters shut down Chicago shopping district, demand federal probe in …

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Burger King manager believes Chicago cops deleted surveillance footage after Laquan McDonald shooting.

CHICAGO — Hundreds of protesters blocked store entrances and shut down traffic in Chicago’s ritziest shopping district on Black Friday to draw attention to the 2014 police killing of a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white officer. Protesters make their way up Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue as community activists and labor leaders hold a demonstration billed as a “march for justice” in the wake of the release of video showing an officer fatally shooting Laquan McDonald. (Nam Y.

A district manager at a Chicago Burger King claims police wiped more than a hour of surveillance footage from the chain’s servers following last year’s shooting that killed Laquan McDonald, according to a report.(CBS) – Some high-end Michigan Avenue stores closed down Friday as throngs of protesters marched along the retail district for several hours in response to a Chicago police officer killing a black teen last year. Demonstrators stood shoulder to shoulder in a cold drizzling rain to turn the traditional start of the holiday shopping season on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile into a high-profile platform from which to deliver their message: The killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald — captured on a squad-car video made public earlier this week — was another example of what they say is the systemic disregard police show for the lives and rights of black people. Several detectives barged into the Burger King demanding the password to access surveillance footage that would have captured the crucial minutes before and after Officer Jason Van Dyke opened fire on the 17-year-old, killing the black teen, the Chicago Tribune reported. They chanted “16 shots! 16 shots!” and stopped traffic for blocks to express their anger over the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting and the subsequent investigation, which they say was mishandled.

The fatal shooting on Oct. 20 would not have been captured on the restaurant’s cameras pointed toward the parking lot, but the video may have shown what court documents described as McDonald brandishing a knife in the parking lot. By the time those officers and a member of the department’s technical support left the restaurant after lingering for about three hours, Jay Darshane contends 86 minutes of footage recorded from 9:13 to 10:39 p.m. vanished from their computer. Among them was the typically swamped Apple store, where dozens of employees in red shirts stood in an otherwise empty two-story space and watched through store windows as protesters linked arms to stop anyone from entering. The graphic video is the latest in a string of police shootings caught on camera that have sparked mass—and sometimes violent—protests and engulfed the United States in a debate over racism and the use of deadly force by police. “All they think we’re going to do is grow up to be thugs,” Jared Steverson, 27, shouted at a black police officer who stood guard outside a shop on the city’s upscale “Magnificent Mile” shopping strip.

Darshane brought up his concern over the missing footage while testifying before a grand jury earlier this year, but did not go public with his belief until this week. “I was just trying to help the police with their investigation … They feared the kind of turmoil that occurred in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody.

The black officer stood stone-faced and avoided Steverson’s gaze as he stood inches (centimeters) away, swearing and waving his hands as he accused the officer of guarding the wrong neighborhood and betraying his race. “When you go home and put on clothes like me, you’re black and they’re going to pull you over because you’re just like me,” Steverson shouted. “I’ve lost too many little brothers,” he told AFP, then turned back to the police and said “I’m not a thug. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he believes the protests have gone “exceptionally well” in large part because his officers have gone out of their way to let demonstrators express their outrage.

McDonald, who authorities allege was carrying a three-inch knife and was suspected of breaking into cars, spins around and falls to the pavement as Van Dyke keeps shooting. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said residents will “have to make an important judgment about our city and ourselves and go forward.” He referred to the episode as a potential “moment of understanding and learning.” Chicago authorities are right to be concerned. You all ain’t got to treat us like dogs, man.” Several protesters held signs demanding the resignation of Chicago’s embattled police chief and chanted “16 shots 13 months” to voice anger that it took so long to charge Van Dyke when there was clear evidence he was never threatened by McDonald.

Chicago police blocked off roads to accommodate the march down Michigan Avenue, and officers in some areas formed a barrier of sorts between protesters and stores and helped shoppers get through the doors. And no one cares that somebody’s dead, that other kids have been shot and nobody’s doing anything.” Jeyifous, 41, is a research scientist at the University of Chicago. A police spokesman said there were three arrests during the demonstration, two of them traffic related and the third resulted from a battery, but he didn’t elaborate. In Chicago, protest groups are expected to stage more demonstrations in the days ahead, including one at City Hall scheduled for Wednesday and another seeking to block the main city’s shopping thoroughfare, Michigan Avenue, during Friday’s holiday spending bonanza. As he jogs down an empty lane, he appears to pull up his pants and then slows to a brisk walk, veering away from two officers who are emerging from a vehicle and drawing their guns.

His attorney said Van Dyke feared for his life when he fired at McDonald and that the case should be tried in an actual courtroom, not the court of public opinion. Later, along Michigan Avenue, at least one person was detained, which led to a tense moment as protesters tried to prevent police from taking him away.

Months after McDonald’s death, the city agreed to a $5 million settlement with his family, even before relatives filed a lawsuit, a move that also drew deep skepticism from the community.

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