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Boycott Black Friday to protest Chicago police crimes

By staff |
November 17, 2017
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Getting ready for Boycott Black Friday to protest Chicago police crimes.
Getting ready for Boycott Black Friday to protest Chicago police crimes.

Chicago, IL- Hundreds of activists will take to the streets on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile to interrupt business on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) has called a Black Friday Boycott for Nov. 24, at 10 a.m., according to Frank Chapman, Field Coordinator of the Alliance, “to underscore our determination to seek justice for Laquan McDonald, who was murdered by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014.”

This is the third Black Friday protest since the 2015 release of police dash camera footage showing the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke. In the video, Van Dyke can be seen shooting McDonald 16 times only mere seconds after arriving to the scene. Mayor Emanuel covered up the video for 400 days in order to get re-elected. The video was released just before Thanksgiving 2015, so thousands of people, mainly Black, marched on the Mag Mile and linked arms in front of stores like Apple, NIKE and Victoria’s Secret for hours. The anti-Rahm protest was aimed at the most expensive shopping district in the city, symbolizing the side of Chicago that Rahm cares about.

According to a statement released by the Alliance, the march this year will also demand justice in the case of the police murder of Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson on Oct. 12, 2014, and Flint Farmer on June 7, 2011. Both murders were recorded on police video, yet neither of their killers have been indicted. In a recent development, the statement noted, “In the case of Johnson, investigators have revealed that the FBI crime lab, which examined the police recording of the shooting, doctored the recording to place a gun in Johnson's hand before he was shot.”

Jazmine Salas, co-chair of the Stop Police Crimes committee of CAARPR, said, “Again this year, the Black Friday Boycott is to demand an all-elected, all-civilian police accountability council (CPAC). No police accountability system in Chicago or anywhere in the U.S. has served to end the impunity with which police terrorize Black and Latino communities.”

Storm of news about police crimes

This week, the local news has continued with headlines about the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Today, the CPD was slammed with the mass exoneration of 15 men who were victims of a gang of cops who ran a drug ring in the Chicago Housing Authority. The decision by the State’s Attorney office of Kim Foxx to vacate these cases is the largest release of the wrongfully convicted in Cook County history.

The leader of the cops in the South Side housing project was Sergeant Ronald Watts, who was shielded from punishment for his crimes for many years by the lax internal review process CPD still has place.

In addition to Foxx’s release of the 15 men, another man had his case dropped Nov. 15. Jose Maysonet was a victim of a frame-up by Reynoldo Guevara 27 years ago - at the time chief detective in the Humboldt Park neighborhood gang crimes unit. And one day earlier, Arthur Brown, 66, had the double murder charges against him dropped after he had spent 29 years in prison, when there was no evidence against him.

Salas added, “The Alliance, along with allies like Black Lives Matter-Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ, the Black Caucus of the American Federation of Teachers, the Chicago Teachers Union, and the Arab American Action Network will be targeting the Mag Mile. Because of its position in Chicago’s economy, the pressure put on the Magnificent Mile will be felt through every chamber in city hall, from the office of the mayor to the city council.”

A statement released by CAARPR last month said: “We are dying and retailers are painlessly profiting. We must say, ‘no peace, no profits’ and make them take action.”

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