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High school students protests against police terror rock Chicago

By staff |
December 10, 2015
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(Photo credit: Babur Balos)

Chicago, IL - #ResignRahm was trending today, Nov. 9, on Twitter, as high school students and office employees walked off their jobs to march outside city hall. What started as a joke Facebook event resulted in thousands of people in a protest demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel resign.

The event page went viral as the crisis in city hall deepened after the release two weeks ago of the video showing a Chicago cop shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. A USA Today poll found 51% of likely Chicago voters thought Emanuel should leave office.

According to Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, “Chicago has never seen this kind of crisis.”

Later in the evening, hundreds packed the police board meeting to continue to push for the firing of police officer Dante Servin, who shot and killed Rekia Boyd three years ago. One after another, activists came to the mic to speak. “Good evening, unelected board,” were the words spoken by Rachel Williams of Black Youth Project 100.

After Williams, Dorothy Holmes took her turn to condemn the board. Holmes is the mother of Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson, shot in the back by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in October 2014. The video of the police killing her son was also released in recent days as a result of the scandal surrounding the police and the city administration. With a quivering but strong voice, she said, “You saw the video. My son was unarmed when murdered by Officer George Hernandez. [State’s Attorney] Anita Alvarez is a bald-faced liar. She needs a Department of Correction suit on. We’re not the criminals. They’re the criminals.”

Shortly after this, the crowd stormed out of the hearing. In a rally outside CPD headquarters, LaCreshia Birts, Black Youth Project 100 member and youth coordinator of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, said, “This unelected board needs to be replaced by an elected, civilian police accountability council.” She called on everyone to join as the Alliance, over 40 family members and survivors of police crimes protests at 5:00 p.m. at Federal Plaza Nov. 10. The families will present complaints to the Department of Justice to demand that their cases be included in the Department of Justice investigation that is beginning to investigate the CPD.