#blacklivesmatter BLM

Black Lives Matter protest shuts down the Magnificent Mile

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 Tyronita Bell

On Friday, the Magnificent Mile was on lock down for several hours preventing shoppers from entering stores due to a Black Lives Matters protest. It was held to bring attention to the corruption of Chicago leaders, and the recurring loss of Black Lives in the hands of Police.

Photographed by Chris Walker of the Chicago Tribune

The most recent story that has swept the country is that of 17 year old Laquan McDonald. He was shot 16 times by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke. The dash cam video was released this Tuesday, although his death was a year ago. There was a cover-up of the teen's death. The attorney for the McDonald family told CNN that " The video clearly shows Laquan walking away and he was not threatening anybody and he certainly didn't lunge at the police officer.".Van Dyke was only at the scene for less than 30 seconds and out of his car for 6 seconds when he took fire.

"Protesters want accountability for investigators whose inexplicable slowness allowed Van Dyke to remain on desk detail and collect a paycheck from taxpayers. And the civic derelictions of duty run even deeper. They implicate Chicago Mayor Rham Emmnauel, the city council, Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy, rank-and-file cops, Pat Camden, who speaks for Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police, and members of the press who credulously report police union talking points.", wrote Conor Friedsdorf in an article from The Atantic.

According to the New York Times, "...the data for 2015 shows in more than 99% of the thousands of misconduct complaints against Chicago Police officers, there has been no discipline. From 2011 to 2015, 97% of 28,500 citizen complaints resulted in no officer punished...".

photography by Anthony Souffle of the Chicago Tribune

The protest was organized by Reverend Jesse Jackson and other Chicago Activists. The purpose of holding this event on Black Friday was to shine a light on a real problem of police cover ups, police brutality, and the corrupt system. The BLM movement is frequently brushed off and often silenced. The best way to get attention on an issue like this it to hurt the bottom line, and that is exactly what this protest did.

Officer Jason Van Dyke was the first Chicago Police Officer to be charged with murder in 35 years which is elusive, because  CPD is known for being crooked. Chicago resident CePonce Brewer told Revolt,  "... I've been in this city for 45 years I've seen things like this happen all the time. 35 years, a police officer a police officer has never been convicted of murder in the City of Chicago. I would just image how many people have been wrongly convicted and given to the prison industrial system and also been murdered and covered up... there's a culture of police cover up. I know that you are familiar with a thing that they call a blue line. We know they have a hard job, we're asking the police offices to hold their fellow officers accountable. The streets will never change if they don't start to hold each other accountable.".

Yesterday, Van Dyke posted bail with the help of police union members. Only 10% of his 1.5 million dollar bail had to be posted for his release. There is a clear recurring theme happening in our country in which it is evident that black lives are not being valued, in addition to the inequality of justice system. The Black Lives Matter movement is the beginning of a revolution. It was created by exposing the very real impact of institutional racism on African Americans in the hopes to end it.

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