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A Second Night of Chicago Protests Over Police Shooting

  • VOA News

Lamon Reccord, second from right, yells at a Chicago police officer "Shoot me 16 times" as he and others march through Chicago's Loop Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015.

Lamon Reccord, second from right, yells at a Chicago police officer "Shoot me 16 times" as he and others march through Chicago's Loop Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015.

Protesters took to the streets of Chicago for the second straight night Wednesday, one day after the city's police department released video of a black teenager being shot to death by a white officer.

The protesters rallied in downtown Chicago, following the release of video that showed officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. Van Dyke was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder.

Demonstrators chanted "16 shots," "don't shoot" and held banners reading "Laquan needs justice," "stop police brutality" and "black lives matter." They also showed pictures of black people who had been killed by police in recent years and called on people to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.

Two Chicago police officers take a man into custody during a protest march, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Chicago, the day after murder charges were brought against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Two Chicago police officers take a man into custody during a protest march, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Chicago, the day after murder charges were brought against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Protesters arrested

Several people were arrested during the protests. Demonstrators took lights off a Christmas tree in a park, according to U.S. media reports. TV footage showed protesters trying to pull police bicycles away from officers.

"There is not just him (Laquan McDonald)," one protester said. "There are several black men and women who have been killed in the hands of police. And I think we are all just tired of it, we are upset about it, and we are here to protest."

"Man, I'm here to defend everybody from senseless killings, from the police," another protester said. "We are all human, we all have families, we all have love and heart. You know somebody out there always cares about us. It makes no point to shoot somebody that never even tried to hurt a cop. It's senseless. And for my family and for Chicago, we are gonna do something about it."

Police and police vehicles patrolled streets in downtown Chicago amid the protests to ensure safety on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Demonstrators also took to the streets Wednesday night in New York City, following a recent incident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in which five people were shot during a protest conducted by the group Black Lives Matter near a police station. The five were part of a crowd protesting the recent fatal police shooting a black man.

TV footage showed protesters converging on the Macy's department store in downtown Manhattan. No damage was reported.

U.S. media reported that police arrested several people during the New York protests.

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is seen in an undated picture released by the Cook County state's attorney's office in Chicago.

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is seen in an undated picture released by the Cook County state's attorney's office in Chicago.

Van Dyke fired

In Chicago, Van Dyke turned himself in to authorities Tuesday and has been charged with first degree murder. He also has been fired from the police department.

The officer is accused of shooting McDonald 16 times, with many of those shots coming after McDonald was on the ground.

In the video, McDonald is running down the center of a street toward several police cars, then apparently walks away from police holding what police say was a knife. No sound is heard before Van Dyke opens fire and continues firing after McDonald falls to the ground.

The Chicago Tribune newspaper quotes police as saying McDonald was behaving erratically, had drugs in his system, and refused police commands to drop a knife he was holding.

The Chicago shooting is another in a series of highly publicized police shootings and deadly assaults of young black men by officers -- mostly white, some black.

Chicago police have said they will not tolerate criminal behavior during the protests.

"People have the right to be angry. People have a right to protest. People have a right to free speech. But they do not have the right to... acts," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Tuesday.

A court ordered the city to release the police car camera video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald by officer Jason Van Dyke. The order came after a journalist filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to make the video public.

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