Several hundred protesters against police killings of black men marched on Thursday along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down and aiming to disrupt Christmas Eve shopping in a glittering, upscale commercial area.
The demonstration was peaceful, but after the main march concluded, police scuffled with a few dozen protesters who were trying to block the entrance to an H&M store and to obstruct traffic both ways on Michigan Avenue, a major thoroughfare.
During the march, demonstrators chanted “Sixteen shots and a cover-up,” protesting the year-long delay in bringing murder charges against police officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald in October 2014 as the black teenager walked away from police, according to footage of the incident.
Shoppers and tourists mostly took in their stride Thursday’s protest, which was not as big as a 2,000-person march on “Black Friday” Nov. 27, which blocked traffic into several Michigan Avenue stores.
“I think it’s a good reminder, especially on Christmas Eve, that it’s not all about gifts and the commercialization of Christmas,” said Barbara Hutchinson, 64, from St. Louis.