The Corrupt System That Killed Laquan McDonald

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago Protesters Take to Streets to Condemn Police Shooting.

Thousands of protesters blocked traffic and barred shoppers from entering stores during the Black Friday sales extravaganza to demand justice for a black teen killed by a Chicago police officer. 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. Tensions flared in this Midwestern city after officials released a dashcam video on Tuesday showing officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times after the teenager walked away from him in October 2014.

Thirteen months!” they chanted on North Michigan Avenue, referring to the number of bullet wounds the teenager, Laquan McDonald, sustained and the length of time it took to bring charges against the officer who shot him. Some of the demonstrators linked arms to form human chains in front of main entrances to stores on both sides of Michigan Avenue for more than three blocks.

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. Around the nation, protests were planned in other cities on one of the busiest shopping days of the year in expressions of dismay over police conduct and the treatment of black people. Here in Chicago, along the stretch known as the Magnificent Mile, traffic snarled and was rerouted as shoppers stopped along the sidewalk, stared and took video with their phones. 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. “I’ve lost too many little brothers,” he told AFP, then turned back to the police and said “I’m not a thug.

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. 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. Rush marched in a blustery rain with a crowd that included a mix of ages and races. “A police officer is supposed to protect us,” said Deborah Lindsey, 66. “This was just shooting a child — and 16 times?

She wanted to stand up for McDonald because she feels like it could have been her or one of her friends shot 16 times and left to bleed out alone on the pavement. “We’re going to hold down these doors so nobody can buy anything, so nobody makes money until people understand how bad this is, how this is affecting Chicago,” Vazquez told AFP as she stood outside Cole Haan. “No one cares, clearly, they’re just walking by shopping. Among the marchers Friday was 73-year-old Frank Chapman of Chicago, who said the disturbing video confirms what activists have said for years about Chicago police brutality. “That needs to end.

That’s just wrong.” There were moments of confusion as entrances were locked at one point at Water Tower Place, a glassy indoor mall, and shoppers were told they could not enter. Too many have already died,” said Chapman, whose organization, the Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Oppression, is pushing for an elected, civilian police accountability council. 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.

Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest and prominent local activist, said he thought Friday’s protest would cost businesses money because the publicity surrounding it would discourage shoppers from even venturing into the area. Chicago officials had sought to keep the video private while a federal investigation continued, but released it after being ordered to do so by a county judge. 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.

An association representing hundreds of high-end retailers, hotels and restaurants in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile district says it’s confident authorities will maintain order for thousands of Black Friday shoppers as groups protest a 2014 police shooting. Crowds numbering in the hundreds marched for hours through downtown Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, blocking traffic and chanting “Justice for Laquan” and “16 shots.” Though the gatherings occasionally turned tense, they stayed mostly peaceful, and the police made only a handful of arrests each night. The march was set to begin near the Chicago River and proceed north over three hours to the Water Tower, a route that would pass large malls and retail storefronts including Neiman Marcus, Burberry and the Apple Store. The Chicago Teachers Union is encouraging its members to join a march in Chicago’s shopping district to protest the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer.

A Macy’s store official carrying a walkie-talkie said he was “working on a strategy.” One woman carrying shopping bags through the Godiva chocolate section of the store said: “If they want to protest, they should have a memorial for him. But this is ridiculous.” She declined to give her name. “I think they have a lot of legitimate right to protest,” he said. “There is a long history of racism in this country.

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