Hundreds of protesters weaved through downtown Chicago streets last night and early this morning after officials released the long-awaited video of the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old teen by a police officer. The march halted traffic for a few minutes on Interstate 290 in and out of the city around midnight, reports the Chicago Tribune. There were a few scuffles and one man, 22, was arrested after police said he punched an officer. Many marchers chanted, “16 times,” referring to the number of bullets fired by officer Jason Van Dyke at Laquan McDonald, 17. A dash-cam video showing the October 2014 shooting was released yesterday afternoon, hours after Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.
Fresco Steez of the Black Youth Project 100 asked reporters to be aware of protesters’ “raw” feelings. “Tonight, what we’re having is another instance of a killing, a public lynching of another young black man, so we’re asking you to give us some space to process our feeling around that. … Their feelings might be raw,” Steez said. Page May of a group called We Charge Genocide said, “People are mad as hell. It still feels so unnecessary.” May cited statements by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy before the video’s release. Emanuel said releasing the video, which city leaders tried to block for months, could start a healing process for Chicagoans. “It was disgusting to try to claim any sense of moral superiority at this moment,” May said. “They’re out there trying to do damage control. How are they going to hold accountable a system that allowed this to happen in the first place?”