Rallies against police killing of black teen in Chicago continue
Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Chicago, Illinois, for the third to continue protests over the police killing of a young African-American boy, after authorities released new footage of the incident.
The protesters, including over 100 high school students, flooded the Millennium Park in Chicago’s Loop community area, demanding justice for Paul O’Neal, an 18-year-old unarmed teenager who was killed by a white officer on July 28.
The protests began three days ago, when the Independent Police Review Authority released footage from nine police cameras—four body cams and five car dashcams – that purported to show officers shooting at O’Neal.
Although police say the actual moment of death was not captured, the footage still shows the bleeding teenager being handcuffed as he was pinned down by officers.
Organizers of the Sunday demonstration said they were gathered to speak out against the surge in police violence and “systemic oppression” against minorities.
“We knew they killed him before that, but seeing the videos and seeing how they acted with each other, it just made it seem like our lives don’t matter,” said Maxine Wint, a protest organizer.
“These adults, the officers that shoot people, everyone in power right now, they don’t have to live with the repercussions of this, we do. We have a whole life ahead of us,” said Eva Lewis, another organizer of the rally.
The protesters were planning to continue their march through the streets of Chicago until their demands were met.
On Friday night, protesters had gathered in front of Chicago Police Department headquarters in the South Shore neighborhood, chanting slogans like: “hands up, don’t shoot” and “how many Pauls are you going to kill today?”
O’Neal family attorney Michael Oppenheimer described the shooting as a cold-blooded execution.
Police said the officer who shot O’Neal in the back violated the rules and will be held responsible.
A recent surge in the death of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of white officers has prompted nationwide protests across America, giving rise to the anti-racism Black Lives Matter movement.
According to a project named Mapping Police Violence, 160 African Americans have been killed by police since the start of 2016. The figure reached a total of 346 cases last year.