Hundreds hold protests in Chicago over death of black teenager
Angry protesters have taken to the streets in Chicago in the wake of a police video showing a white officer fatally shooting an African American teenager 16 times.
Hundreds of demonstrators held protests in the midst of Black Friday shopping on Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile, demanding broad reforms in the Windy City.
They were calling for the resignations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez.
In addition, they called on the US Justice Department to investigate the police department’s handling of the incident.
On Tuesday, officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on Oct. 20.
Police released a video of the shooting on the same day, which provoked protests by young activists in Chicago, drawing national attention on the city.
Friday demonstration, however, was much larger and more diverse in which protesters were chanting “16 shots and you can’t shop” and “say his name: Laquan McDonald.”
Khailid Parrett, a protester, said the protests are “about redistributing the pain.”
“If we get hurt, you gotta hurt too. And the only place that some Americans know about hurt is when it comes to their pockets,” Parrett added.
Officer Dyke’s case marks the first time a Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality in nearly 35 years.
He faces a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Police brutality against minorities in the United States has been a major point of concern for long resulting in large-scale demonstrations across the country and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement.