The Latest: Chicago protests continue during rush hour
The Associated Press
Dec. 12, 2015
CHICAGO (AP) — The latest developments in Chicago's efforts to deal with fatal police shootings and police accountability (all times local):
A small but boisterous crowd demonstrating against police misconduct is protesting during rush hour traffic in Chicago.
Demonstrations have been held almost daily since the city released graphic squad car video last month showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager in 2014.
Protests have called for the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. The rallies have been largely peaceful.
By Friday evening the crowd was small but determined, blocking traffic on downtown streets.
Chicago police spokesman Thomas Sweeney says he hasn't been notified of any arrests related to the protests as of Friday evening.
An attorney for the family of a black teenager killed by a Chicago police officer says they agreed not to release video of the shooting unless the officer wasn't charged.
Attorney Jeffrey Neslund says the agreement not to release the video was part of a $5 million settlement approved by the city in April with the family of Laquan McDonald.
The video shows McDonald being shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014.
The city had refused to release the video to a journalist, saying doing so could affect an ongoing investigation into the shooting. But a judge ordered the city to release the footage last month.
The city released the video the same day prosecutors announced Van Dyke had been charged with first-degree murder.
Neslund says he wondered for months why no charges had been filed, but that he knew the investigation was ongoing because witnesses were testifying before a grand jury.
A group of protesters is calling for justice for a black teen fatally shot by a white Chicago police officer.
About 80 people carrying banners and signs were marching around Chicago's City Hall on Friday afternoon.
The event was organized by several black ministers and the NAACP.
They want Mayor Rahm Emanuel to establish a police review board that's "truly independent."
The current watchdog agency's members are appointed by Emanuel. The agency has been criticized as toothless since the city released a video last month showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014.
The group also wants a Justice Department investigation of the police department to be expanded to include the mayor's office and Cook County State's Attorney's office.
The video, which was released under court order, shows McDonald veering away from Van Dyke when the officer shot him.
A relative of the black teenager shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer remembers him as gentle, loving and fond of telling jokes.
The Rev. Marvin Hunter is a great uncle of Laquan McDonald, who was killed in October 2014. Video of the killing was released two weeks ago, setting off protests and calls for the mayor's resignation.
Hunter told reporters Friday the 17-year-old was not a gang member, adding that McDonald "was a big boy, but he was a teddy bear." He said he wished people would recognize that "dreads don't mean dreadful."
Hunter says the teen always greeted friends and family with a hug and was a "jokester."
The city negotiated a $5 million settlement with the family. Hunter said the money that really matters should come in the form of government resources to foster economic development and keep such deaths from happening.
A spokesman for the family of the black teenager shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer says there are "thousands of Laquan McDonalds."
The 17-year-old was killed in October 2014 by an officer responding to a complaint about car break-ins. He was carrying a knife, but in video of the confrontation he is seen moving away from officers and posing no obvious threat. Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.
The Rev. Marvin Hunter is McDonald's great uncle. He told reporters Friday that the McDonald case is but one of many in which African-Americans have been mistreated by Chicago police.
The video was released on Nov. 24 and has sparked weeks of protests.
A relative of the black teenager shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer says the family is traumatized by seeing the frequent TV news replay of video showing the death.
The Rev. Marvin Hunter is a great uncle of Laquan McDonald, who was killed in October 2014 by Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with first-degree murder.
Hunter called a news conference Friday to speak for McDonald's family, who has largely tried to remain out of the spotlight since the release of the video last month set off weeks of protests.
Hunter said that McDonald's mother was not at Friday's event because she is too hurt and traumatized by the "constant reminder of the senseless death of her son."
A group of prominent Chicago pastors is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make good on promises of transparency and release a video showing another fatal police shooting of a black teenager. They're also circulating a petition of "no confidence" in Emanuel.
Seventeen-year-old Cedrick Chatman was a suspect in a car theft when he was killed in January 2013 by police. Officers said they believed he was reaching for a gun. But the gun turned out to be a smartphone box.
The city is fighting the release of that video, arguing that it could prejudice would-be jurors if the case goes to trial.
Three pastors held a news conference outside City Hall on Friday morning to demand its release. Bishops Larry Trotter, Travis Grant and James Dukes also voiced support for a state lawmaker's proposal to allow for a recall process to force the mayor from office.
Asked what they hoped to achieve with the petition, Grant said, "Change."
Family members of a black teenager fatally shot by a white Chicago police officer are expected to speak publicly.
The pastor of Chicago's Grace Memorial Baptist Church has planned a Friday news conference to discuss the Laquan McDonald case. Pastor Marvin Hunter says McDonald's family will thank the public for demanding justice and change.
McDonald was shot 16 times in October 2014 by police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with first-degree murder.
Squad car footage of the shooting was released late last month, and there have been almost daily protests. Protesters allege a cover up and have called for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Alvarez has defended her office, calling it a complex investigation. Emanuel apologized this week. He fired the police chief and named a new head of the independent body that investigates police conduct.