Some questions, answers about Minneapolis police shooting

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Black Lives Matter Protesters In Macy’s.

Up to 2,000 people protesting police violence hit the streets of Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” district on the busiest shopping day of the year, taking another step forward for a social justice movement emboldened by its impact on everything from college campuses to city halls. About 100 people gathered outside the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family brought together in a time of turmoil.Speaking at a rally on Tuesday outside the precinct building where protesters have gathered, Pastor Danny Givens Jr. of Above Every Name Church said the demonstrators would not be scared away.

Some protesters attempted to block store entrances while police on the scene formed barriers to keep them out while allowing shoppers to enter, NBC News reported. “Find a door, shut it down!” some activists shouted, according to the network. The protesters were shot after they confronted several people near the north side police precinct that has been the site of demonstrations since police fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark. The Black Friday protests in the luxury corridor are the continuation of simmering tensions in Chicago, where Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday in the killing of a 17-year-old named Laquan McDonald in October 2014. At the Wednesday funeral, more than 300 people paid their respects and said goodbye to the man whose death has drawn attention from around the nation.

Authorities have said there was no video of the shooting from police dashboard or body cameras, but investigators are reviewing video from business and security cameras in the area, as well as witnesses’ cell phones. The protests are placing Chicago, America’s third-largest city, in a familiar spot historically, as a hotbed for social justice movements ranging from violent Vietnam War protests and the “Battle of Michigan Avenue,” to the peaceful 2006 pro-immigration rallies that drew as many as half a million protesters into the Windy City. One witness, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “About midway down the block the group sort of thinned out and I said, ‘Maybe we should turn around, not make them feel like we’re all up on them, ‘ and the minute I turned around I heard four shots”. But the protests also show both restraint by police and the professionalization of the Black Lives Matter movement, which began after the hardhearted police response to protesters in Ferguson, Mo., last year. Clark’s family released a statement early Tuesday morning calling for the planned protests to be canceled as a result of Monday night’s shooting, but there is still another protest scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

NAACP Minneapolis President Nekima Levy-Pounds speaks during a vigil in front of the Minneapolis Police Department’s fourth precinct Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Minneapolis. “If we can get through this, we can get through anything”, protester Jie Wronski-Riley told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “We ain’t turning around, but we’re here fighting for justice”. Indeed, the contrast between Chicago so far and the militarized police response in Ferguson last year highlights not just dramatic shifts in how US police respond to protesters, but also the maturing of a new civil rights movement into a deliberate and conscientious force that’s finding it more effective to target institutions and powerful politicians rather than police as a whole. “These activists in Chicago have been active, savvy people, unlike in Ferguson, where there’s not as long a history of protest activity around police matters,” says Michael Kazin, an expert on social movements at Georgetown University in Washington. “I think [activists] might be in part saying, ‘Look, we have to keep sort of relations with the police. A police union leader has said Clark was reaching for an officer’s gun. “It’s really powerful to see community solidarity on Thanksgiving,” said Nekima Levy-Pounds, Minneapolis NAACP president. “We are going to persevere until we see change.” Zion Baptist Church Pastor Brian C.

It can’t just be us against them for the long term, because it’s not going to be very helpful.’ ” The Magnificent Mile march aims to draw attention to what protesters see as a racial bias in policing. In terms of the McDonald case, activists are calling for a Justice Department probe, and the resignations of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and prosecutor Anita Alvarez for their roles in the video being kept under wraps. “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,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest and prominent local activist, told the Associated Press. “In a sense the city was born in bloody protest: the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre, when Native Americans rose up and attacked soldiers departing from a fort built on land that was incorporated as the City of Chicago 25 years later,” longtime Chicago political consultant Don Rose writes in an essay. “Fast forward to the 1960s and we find that Chicago has become a virtual crucible of the social movements of the era.” Indeed, the protest culture has been so ingrained that the city council last year passed ordinances that required that large signs be registered before being waved. A video produced by a journalist at the scene revealed people running and screaming for an ambulance while a young African American man can be seen on the ground in pain presumably from a gunshot wound.

In a letter to city officials, the Downtown Seattle Association complained that protesters had scared shoppers away, prevented the children’s choir from performing, and brought on an “unfortunate hit to our reputation.” That’s the kind of pressure that protesters in Chicago hope to put on the city during a shopping weekend that for some retailers provides 20 percent of annual revenues. A couple of protesters began to boo when two police officers stepped outside to walk around the encampment, but they were quickly quieted by fellow demonstrators.

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