In the crime-plagued Chicago neighborhood of North Lawndale, some say they’ve grown fearful of those charged with keeping them safe, reports the Chicago Tribune. “You don’t just have to be afraid of the people on the streets anymore,” said resident Kashia Russell. “You have to be afraid of the police too.” On Monday, an 18-year-old boy was running from several officers when he was shot in the back and killed in a vacant lot strewed with trash and broken bottles. The officers said the teen — who had been convicted once on a drug charge and arrested at least eight other times — was pointing a 9 mm handgun at them. Other residents said the youth was unarmed and questioned how he could’ve been aiming at police when he was shot in the back.
The shooting has sparked a series of volatile protests throughout this week of stifling heat. Willie Mae Bowling, president of the United Block Council, an umbrella group for 24 community block clubs, said many feel “disillusioned” about police-community relations. “Remember when the first Mayor Daley said: `Shoot to kill?'” she said, referring to an infamous order given when the 1968 riots broke out. “Some people are wondering: Do they have that order now? What you hear from them is they’re actually afraid.”