Protest ignites after Chicago police fatally shoot man

Pauline Gross
July 15, 2018

The protests came after Chicago Police Patrol Chief Fred Waller told a news conference a man was shot in the South Shore neighbourhood after police officers on foot tried to question him because "the bulge around his waistband" suggested he was armed.

People quickly gathered around the scene of the shooting, yelling and questioning police officers, as seen in Facebook Live videos filmed by demonstrators. Video circulating on social media show tense confrontations between police and protesters.

"I know that they're very passionate about things that happen in the community, especially when it's dealing with police, but it got a little bit out of hand", Waller said. At least one officer shot back, but no one was hit, police said. A weapon was recovered at the scene, he said, but did not say whether the man was armed when he was shot.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Issa said that the tension was so high immediately after the shooting that "it was clear there was going to be a confrontation between Chicago Police and protesters at some point". Waller described it as a "semi-automatic weapon" and said he had "magazines" on him.

Larry Merritt, a fire department spokesman, said the man was taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Chief Waller said protesters threw bottles and jumped on top of a squad auto, with social media videos showing punches thrown on both sides. "Several arrests were made", Waller said.

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Four protesters were arrested Saturday, while three or four officers sustained minor injuries during the protests, according to officials.

After nightfall, protesters continued to mill around the neighbourhood with police occasionally chasing them away.

People outside the crime scene after the shooting claimed a female officer shot the man, a neighborhood barber, at least five times in the back as he ran away, and that the officer was taken away from the scene in a police vehicle afterward as the crowd formed.

Van Dyke was charged with murder.

The situation just severely escalated when Chicago Police officers moved their line forward.

McDonald's death led to the ouster of the police chief and a series of reforms created to prevent future police abuses and to hold officers accountable.

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