Protests continue downtown after Officer Van Dyke appears in court

Saturday, December 19, 2015
Protests continue downtown
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One person was arrested and three citations issued during Friday evening protests downtown.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One person was arrested, three citations were issued and a police officer suffered a broken wrist Friday evening during downtown protests, hours after Officer Jason Van Dyke appeared in court.

A couple hundred protesters gathered downtown at 3:16 p.m. Friday, and meandered through the Loop, River North and Gold Coast into the evening past rush hour, blocking traffic and chanting.

The group is calling for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for their handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting. Van Dyke has been charged in the 17-year-old's shooting death.

The one arrested happened in the Gold Coast after the individual apparently tried to break through a line of police officers. He ended up in a police truck and fellow marchers linked arms and surrounded the vehicle in an attempt to prevent it from driving away.

The officer who sustained a broken wrist was injured when police were making way for an ambulance headed to Northwestern Hospital in an emergency capacity. While this was happening, a small group engaged police and an officer fell to the ground and was assaulted, police said.

The group immediately dispersed and fled, and no arrests were made stemming from the ambulance incident. However the investigation is ongoing and police are reviewing camera footage in the area to identify who may be responsible.

The downtown protest was one of three around the city on the day that Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, charged in the 2014 murder of 17-year-old McDonald, appeared in court.

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California on the South Side. Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder and official misconduct.

Earlier Friday, about two dozen protesters aimed to disrupt traffic around Midway Airport, targeted holiday travelers.

Demonstrators gathered 59th and Kilpatrick and marched to Midway, briefly blocking traffic on Cicero Avenue. Protesters said they want to demonstrate peacefully, but also cause as much disruption as possible.

"This isn't meant to hurt regular folks. This is meant to hurt the economic center of Chicago. We're going to continue to do that. If folks feel they are unfairly targeted, we apologize. But we're doing this on behalf of the citizens of Chicago, not just black folks in Chicago. Because it's everybody's tax dollars that went to that $5 million cover-up," said Willie J.R. Fleming, Executive Director, Anti-Eviction Campaign.

Meanwhile, at Midway, travelers tried to get to where they need to be. It's not yet clear how many people had their plans disrupted, but some passengers arrived early to avoid the delays.

"Because I listen to the news, I made sure that I got up and got out early and I hope that others do the same," said Remonia Thomas, a traveler.

"If it gives meaningful change? I think I'm all for it," said John Hereford, another traveler.

Jason Van Dyke and Laquan McDonald (FILE)


Protesters aim to disrupt traffic around Midway Airport Friday morning

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