Protesters to march in Chicago on Friday and ask feds to probe McDonald killing

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago protesters poised to disrupt Black Friday shopping.

CHICAGO — After days of protests in Chicago since the release of a video showing a black teenager shot 16 times by a white police officer, demonstrators were poised to disrupt Black Friday shopping with a march through the heart of the city’s most famous retail district.JASON Van Dyke, the white policeman charged with the murder of black Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald, is about to experience his first weekend in jail. It’s likely to be a brutal 48 hours and beyond, not that anyone except lawyer and his family will care; the people of this city have been campaigning for 13 long months for this. Activists hope to bring attention to the Oct. 20, 2014, slaying of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and an investigation into his shooting that some say was mishandled. “This is going to give an opportunity for all of Chicago to come out, demonstrate their outrage and their anger in a nonviolent way, (and) interrupt the economic engine of Black Friday,” said the Rev.

He was the only officer among five at the scene to fire at McDonald and pulled the trigger just six seconds after getting out of his vehicle, according to the statement of facts. The graphic dashcam video that shows McDonald being shot repeatedly by Officer Jason Van Dyke was released Tuesday, the same day Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. In recent days, there has been talk that marchers taking part in the Black Friday protest would engage in acts of civil disobedience, such as blocking store entrances to prevent shoppers from getting inside.

Lawyer Daniel Herbert says his client is “scared to death about possible outcomes” since receiving the news that he would be remanded in custody at least until Monday when his next bail hearing was scheduled. By now, inmates at Cook County Jail, where the 37-year-old has been held without bond since Tuesday, will have heard the new details in the McDonald case, as well as those of other incidents including the 20-odd civilian complaints filed against Officer Van Dyke since 2003. Jessie Davis, of the group Stop Mass Incarceration Network, said there have been calls on social media for people to engage in civil disobedience, and Charlene Carruthers, national director of the activist group Black Youth Project 100, would not rule out acts such actions. Pfleger said he thinks the march itself will cost businesses money because the publicity surrounding it will discourage shoppers from even venturing into the area.

McDonald’s own family received $5 million compensation from the city in April but the matter refused to die; without justice, it was just blood money. The family knew of the existence of police dash cam video of Laquan’s death and authorities fought aggressively against its release right up until this week when legal action by freelance journalist Brandon Smith finally forced it into the public domain. But there were indications that it would be a bigger crowd than the other marches and rallies, which so far have attracted anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred demonstrators. The police department had said in a statement the day after the shooting that McDonald refused orders to drop the knife and continued to approach the officers before he was shot. “He will be in administrative segregation, which is protection, but it’s brutal for the prisoner 23 hours a day in a cell by yourself with one hour for recreation,” Mr Masri said from the US today. The police have allowed protesters to march in the middle of the street and even hold rallies in the middle of intersections, and on Thursday the department said it would handle Friday’s march much the same way.

The defendant will remain in jail until at least Monday when County Cook Judge Donald Panarese Jr will reconsider his bail application after a private viewing of the video. “The video is graphic, disturbing and difficult to watch, as any video of a man being shot to death would be. It’s impossible from viewing the video to determine exactly what my client was experiencing at the time in which he fired the shots. … It’s not showing from his eyes, which is an important distinction.” Ms Van Dyke wrote on the page, “My husband is having a bond hearing and if we do not raise this money he will be detained on 11/24/15. They’ve also harshly criticized the department for its months-long effort to prevent the video from being released and the state’s attorney’s office for taking more than a year to file charges against the officer, despite having footage of the incident. The video released Tuesday shows McDonald jogging down a street and then veering away from Van Dyke and another officer who emerge from a police SUV drawing their guns.

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