CHICAGO, Nov. 28 (UPI) – Protesters shut down parts of Chicago’s luxury shopping district Friday and demanded a federal investigation into the police shooting death of teen Laquan McDonald, alleging a wide-ranging coverup that spans a year-long investigation.
Protesters, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and other black leaders,halted traffic along Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile on Black Friday, demanding the city’s top leaders resign. Police kept their distance from the protesters and blocked traffic from entering Michigan Avenue.
Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014. Dashboard camera video, made public just days ago, shows Van Dyke shooting the teen 16 times in about 15 seconds. Many activists have called the incident a “modern-day lynching.”
Demonstrators chanted “Stop the cover-up!” and “16 shots! 16 shots!” They want significant changes at the Chicago Police Department.
Today was a GREAT Success…The MAG MILE was shut down!!!! We are still a little divided, but the fact was we… https://t.co/TGhR1VePit
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy lauded his officers for a “remarkable” job monitoring protests to ensure they remain peaceful.
“That’s why we’re not having problems that other cities are having, or have had in the past,” McCarthy said before Friday’s march. “We’re going to facilitate the protests. We’re trying to help them do what they want to do, quite frankly, and we’re going to do it in a professional manner; but we will not allow criminal behavior, quite frankly. We’re not going to stand by and watch something happen. We’re not going to let windows get broken, and stand by idly watching it happen. We’re not going to let places get looted. It’s just not going to happen.”