Protesters who took part Friday in a peaceful march along Chicago’s best-known shopping street called for a special prosecutor to look into a police shooting that killed a 17-year-old African-American last year.
The fatal shooting already resulted in a first-degree murder charge filed earlier this week against a white Chicago police officer. But protesters on Friday said that wasn’t enough and demanded a special prosecutor and the resignation of other top officials.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson, a prominent civil right leader, said the protesters demand a special prosecutor to replace the state attorney to look into why it took so long for the officer to be charged.
“We cannot accept the state attorney being the prevailing lawyer [in the case],” Jackson said on CNN. Among the questions are who knew about the police dashboard camera video recording and who “covered it up for 13 months,” he said.
The officer who was charged, Jason Van Dyke, allegedly shot Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014.
Hundreds of protesters took over Michigan Avenue in Chicago, a stretch of city street known as the Magnificent Mile, according to CNN. They linked arms and stopped several times chanting, “16 shots.”
The protest appeared to disrupt shopping at top retailers located along the street on Black Friday, the traditional kick off of the holiday shopping season in the US.
Some protesters called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to resign.
The video, released Tuesday by Chicago authorities, shows McDonald walking down the middle of a street and away from several police officers when one of the officers opens fire. The officer continues firing after the teenager fell to the ground, stopping only after another police officer intervened.
Van Dyke turned himself in and is being held without bail, according to news reports. The police union has said Van Dyke acted in fear of his life after McDonald lunged at him with a knife, and has said that McDonald had drugs in his system at the time of his death.
The incident was among a series of high-profile shootings of young black men by white police officers in recent years that have sparked protests across the country, including riots last year in Ferguson, Missouri, and in April in Baltimore.