2nd night of protests in Chicago after Laquan McDonald video released

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Thursday, November 26, 2015
More protests planned for Wednesday
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Protesters are planning more protests Wednesday night following the release of the Laquan McDonald video on Tuesday.

CHICAGO -- A second night of protests is under way Wednesday night in Chicago, a day after the release of the Laquan McDonald video, which shows a white officer shooting the African American teenager 16 times.

Traffic was backed up on northbound Michigan Avenue because protesters blocked traffic near the Water Tower.

The group started at about 4 p.m. near the DePaul University business school building, moving north toward Randolph and then turning north on Michigan Avenue.

Organizers with One Chicago indicated that they wanted to block traffic in the area, eventually making their way down Jackson and getting close to the Christmas tree at Millennium Park.


The video was released a day before expected and many out-of-town protesters are just arriving for marches in the city, organizers said.

Earlier Wednesday, a small group went to City Hall, demanding a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Organizers also want supporters to not shop on Black Friday.

"One of the most peaceful things that we ask is for consumers to not shop that day," said Mark Carter, of One Chicago. "Through social media we are asking people to just stay home and not spend money."


More than 300 protesters marched through Chicago Tuesday night resulting in five arrests. Two of the protesters faced felony charges and appeared in bond court on Wednesday. Police reported no damage to private property.

Charges were dropped against Malcolm London, 22, who was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer for allegedly punching a police officer Tuesday. He emerged from the Cook County Courthouse to cheers.

"Being in there tonight and standing in that jail cell with the people who come from where I come from ... only made me realize how much harder we have to fight to re-imagine how this place is," said London, a protest organizer with Black Youth Project.

A Riverside County man, 38-year-old Dean Vanriper of the 35900 block of Wilcox Lane in Murrieta, California, faces felony possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon and misdemeanor possession of a deadly weapon. A judge ordered him to be held on $50,000 bond.

Police said Vanriper had a Taser and a knife in his possession.

Johnae Strong, 25; May Page, 26; and Troy Alim, 24; were each charged with resisting a police officer, a misdemeanor, police said. They were all released on recognizance bond.

Protesters said they are angry and frustrated by how they were treated Tuesday night, accusing police of aggressive actions.

Community activist Jedidiah Brown said people are extremely upset.

"That video was so painful to watch. You can expect some people's reactions to be a little unexpected. But you have to understand it. Again, effective leadership is knowing how to direct and redirect it. That's what we need to be focusing on. Not violence," Brown said.


Several aldermen and members of the Black Caucus held a news conference at City Hall Wednesday morning, saying that they felt frustrated because they were misled by city officials, who they said initially told them that the events leading up to McDonald's death was subject to interpretation.

"It should not have taken a full year to determine what happened when all the facts were known and there was a clear video to show it," said Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st Ward.

The group is seeking a no-confidence vote against Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

"While we know the system has failed, no one can specifically say how," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward. "You cannot change a system by ignoring a system."

McDonald's family issued a statement before the video was released, calling for calm.

"No one understands the anger more than us. But if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. Don't resort to violence in Laquan's name. Let his legacy be better than that," the statement said in part.


Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the black teen's death. Also on Tuesday, the city released the nearly seven-minute video, which shows the seconds-long interaction between Van Dyke and McDonald.

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Click here to watch the full, 6-minute, unedited video as released by the Chicago Police Department.

The video shows officers approaching the 17-year-old, who is walking briskly away from the police. He has a weapon in his right hand, which was later confirmed by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to be a three-inch knife with its blade folded into the handle.

The video shows an officer with his gun drawn on the left. Alvarez confirmed that officer was Van Dyke. The teen veers in the opposite direction and is shot. He falls to the ground and another couple of puffs of smoke are seen coming from his body as he is shot a total of 16 times in 15 seconds.


Protesters also called for accountability after seeing the video. State's Attorney Alvarez said cases like this require a very thorough investigation. She said that's why it took a year for Van Dyke to be charged.

"It's unacceptable for it to take this long for the video to be released. And that's the question we have today. Did you bring up those charges because you're running for re-election?" said De'Andre Hawthorne, a community activist.

Protesters tried to push their way into Alvarez's office Tuesday evening, demanding she step down from her job. Members of her staff were unable to leave because of the commotion.

"We think there is an injustice, especially in the state's attorney's office. This is an incident that occurred over a year ago and she's just now making a decision to do something about it. We're demanding that she step down," said Janice Peters, a demonstrator.

Other protesters demanded accountability from Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

They also said due process was necessary and urged protesters to voice their concerns peacefully.

"Will we use this episode and this moment to build bridges that bring us together as a city? Or will we allow it to become a way that erects barriers that tear us apart as a city?" Emanuel asked.

"People have a right to be angry. People have a right to protest. People have a right to free speech. But they do not have a right to commit criminal acts," McCarthy said.


Jason Van Dyke, 37, is the first active Chicago police officer charged with murder for an on-the-job shooting in more than 30 years.

He's a husband and father of two grade-school children. He has been a police officer for 14 years.

Daniel Herbert, Van Dyke's attorney, spoke to the press on Tuesday before the video came out.

"We are concerned for the officer's safety; about his family. We are concerned about the other officers on the streets of Chicago," Hebert said.

Van Dyke was part of a special operations unit for several years, despite at least 18 citizen complaints against him since 2006, according to a University of Chicago database.

Those were allegations of brutality and improper racial comments - all of which were dismissed. One resulted in a $350,000 federal court judgment.