Saturday, November 28, 2015 1:43 am
More than 1,000 protesters took to Chicago’s most bustling shopping street on Friday, disrupting business on Americans’ busiest shopping day of the year, to protest the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white policeman.
The protesters blocked retail stores on the “Magnificent Mile” by locking arms to form a human chain to prevent shoppers from entering the stores on the traditional Black Friday shopping day.
The protesters demanded justice for 17-year-old black teen Laquan McDonald who was shot 16 times to death in October 2014.
Tensions flared up in the Midwestern city after officials released a graphic video on Tuesday showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times after the teenager walked away from him.
Earlier Tuesday, Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and denied bail until a second hearing on Monday in a case that took prosecutor 13 months to announce the charges.
Protestors counted up from zero to 16, and chanted “sixteen shots” to voice anger as Dyke reloaded and fired his gun sixteen times at the teen.
When the protesters marched along Michigan Avenue, they shouted “Stop the cover-up, 16 shots” in a show of the outrage that it took so long to charge Van Dyke when there was clear evidence he was never threatened by McDonald.
Many protesters implied that Chicago officials were motivated to withhold the release of the video until after the mayoral election.
A Facebook page posted by march organizers said “the release of the Laquan McDonald video once again highlights the lack of value of Black lives in the minds of many who are charged with serving and protecting.”