Several thousand protesters descended on North Michigan Avenue on Saturday to demonstrate in the aftermath of the release of police dash-cam video which captured the October 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer.
Charged with murder, Officer Jason Van Dyke was arraigned on Tuesday and is being held without bail.
Known as the “Magnificent Mile,” the section of Chicago has earned a reputation as an upscale shopping and dining district for years.
Protesters assembled on the street blocked access to stores for a six-block stretch and chanted: “No justice, no shopping” and “16 shots.” Similarly, some protesters demanded for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy to step down.
Blocked by demonstrators, shoppers who attempted to gain entry into stores were denied and those inside stores were not allowed to exit.
“The march started at Michigan and Wacker Drive and began walking north. They include demonstrators from the Nation of Islam, which is marching under the banner of “Justice of Else”; RevCom, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition.”
Although the protests remained relatively peaceful, several arrests were made by the Chicago police and traffic was blocked on the street for several hours.
Peaceful or not, protests should not be allowed to disrupt the daily activity between merchants and citizens.
Although protesters may think they are involved in a worthy cause, their tactics are both misguided and ineffective: Merchants on North Michigan Avenue are not blameworthy for the death of Laquan McDonald.
While the release of the dash-cam tape was delayed and the handling of the investigation likely represents a collective failure of official leadership in Chicago, targeting innocent shoppers and the businesses they choose to patronize is, well, wrong.
Regarding the slow response to administer justice in the death of Laquan McDonald, this clearly reveals a severe deficit of leadership in the mayor’s office, the Chicago’s States Attorney’s office and within the police department, but the methods harnessed by Reverend Jesse Jackson’s protesters are playing an undeniably counterproductive role in resolving the predicament.
Chicago’s business community deserves better: Honorable protests exhibit immaculate manners.
[Breitbart] [Photo courtesy CBS News]