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Sixth Day of Laquan McDonald Protests: NAACP Parades Coffin Outside Chicago’s City Hall

UPDATE: Protesters used five coffins, not just one.

On Monday evening, the NAACP released a statement claiming that several members of their group were arrested by the Chicago Police, including President Cornell Brooks. The group said their members were arrested while “kneeling in prayer in the middle of the street.

But the Chicago Police said that the 10 protesters were only detained in order to issue citations and that no arrests were made. Officials did not elaborate on the citations nor did they confirm who was cited.

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As the sixth day of protests over the police-involved shooting of a 17-year-old Chicago teen rages on, members of local NAACP chapters paraded a full-sized coffin outside Chicago’s City Hall, chanting phrases and joining in calls for both Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign their offices.

Chanting phrases such as “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” and “Stop the cover-up! Sixteen shots!,” NAACP members said that the purpose of their vigil outside the city’s halls of government was intended to spur reforms of both the city and the police.

Protests were spurred after police dashcam video of the 2014 shooting was released on November 24.

“We are here because we are, as a city, as a citizenry, as a nation, grieving the death, the senseless, tragic death, of Laquan McDonald,” one marcher told Chicago’s NBC affiliate. “We have before us a casket. Caskets carry the loved ones that we’ve lost to death, sometimes as a consequence of disease, illness, old age, but not one of us can imagine the heartbreak of losing a loved one to police misconduct. And we’re not merely here to grieve the loss of a 17-year-old. We’re here before this emblem of death, this casket, to bury police misconduct in the city of Chicago.”

On Monday evening, the NAACP released a statement claiming that several members of their group were arrested by the Chicago Police, including President Cornell Brooks. The group said their members were arrested while “kneeling in prayer in the middle of the street.

But the Chicago Police said that the 10 protesters were only detained in order to issue citations and that no arrests were made. Officials did not elaborate on the citations nor did they confirm who was cited.

The organization had already demanded a full investigation into the incident and what they feel was the failed response to it by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority which investigated the incident last year.

Fully a year after the shooting, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez indicted Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke on charges of first-degree murder. This week a $1.5 million bond was set for the officer.

Stores on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue shopping district were temporarily shut down on Black Friday as protesters fanned out to barricade entrances and preventing shoppers from entering or leaving several big name retailers on the city’s “Magnificent Mile.”

The NCAAP is only one of several large organizations organizing protests to capitalize on the 2014 death of Laquan McDonald. Other groups such as the Chicago Teachers Union and Jesse Jackson’s Operation Push also mounted a series of protests. The CTU even helped pay for a Thanksgiving robocall urging Chicagoans to protest on Black Friday. Members of local communist and socialist parties also helped plan protests.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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