'Laquan Won't Have A Christmas'... Black Friday protests shut down parts of the 'Mag Mile'... Expensive stories along Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile' were blocked by protests after Laquan McDonald video showed 2014 murder by police officer...

[Editor's Note: The following articles include most of the reporting on the November 27, 2015 protests on Chicago's "Magnificent Mile". The protests escalated as more and more people came to know the details of the executive of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer -- and the 14-month coverup that following. Based on our regular evaluation of corporate media coverage of the schools and other local stories, we are offering the stories for or readers in order of our assessment of the quality of the job they had to do. One of our editors exclaimed after reading the Sun-Times coverage, "What a delight!" Others usually faced the challenge of covering such a large, fast moving, and sometimes challenging "story" with varying degrees of success. George N. Schmidt, Editor, Substance].

Michigan Avenue Chicago on "Black Friday" 2015. SUN TIMES STORY NOVEMBER 28, 2015....

Black lives matter - not Black Friday': Protesters block shoppers, scuffle with police


Hundreds of protesters galvanized by the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald closed a stretch of Michigan Avenue on Friday and blocked would-be customers from entering high-end, Magnificent Mile stores on whats usually among the busiest shopping days of the year.

Many protesters remained in the area for hours, moving up and down Michigan Avenue, pausing in front of stores, waving flags and signs, and chanting though by about 9:15 p.m., many of them had decided to call it a night.

For some, the night ended just before 10 p.m., outside the Best Buy at the John Hancock Center with an exchange of handshakes between protesters and some of the police officers theyd kept busy much of the day.

t least four people were arrested the latest occurring when, after brief scuffles all day, tensions flared late in the afternoon in front of the Banana Republic store, 744 N. Michigan Ave.

About 4:45 p.m., police lined up in front of Banana Republic suddenly moved in toward the line of protesters blocking its entrance.

Another pushing and shoving melee ensued and quickly turning violent, as police began grabbing people and throwing them out of the way including two female reporters wearing visible credentials, representing the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.

When police began grabbing women, one male organizer asked them not to rough up the women. Police continued to push people out of the way. Then one officer grabbed the ailing Violence Interrupter Ameena Matthews, pushed her and she stumbled and fell. The male organizer became upset, got in the officers faces, and was arrested.

Tension ran high for 15 minutes. Then protesters motioned they were leaving, crossing the street to take over the entrance of Neiman Marcus.

Before then, three people already had been arrested on simple battery and traffic-related offenses, according to the Chicago Police Department. Misdemeanor charges were pending.

And even earlier Friday, not long after the start of the protests, the Rev. Jesse Jackson had been cut off as he spoke about the McDonald shooting.

Jacksons Rainbow PUSH Coalition had organized the march, which brought together a variety of groups and community leaders. They had started at Michigan and Wacker. From there, Rev. Jackson had led several hundred people north on Michigan to the Water Tower, where several people were to speak.

ackson, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and more than a dozen other ministers and leaders crowded onto the steps of the historic tower.

Crowds counted each bullet that struck McDonald. But as they began to pray and speak, several young men with bullhorns approached from all sides, overpowering their sound with chants of Indict Rahm.

This is about indicting Mayor Rahm Emanuel, one called. The ministers countered, Let us pray, let us pray.

Were not here to pray, a voice repeated over a megaphone.

They pulled Jacksons microphone and stormed the stairs. Someone yanked the cord to the speakers, knocking out Jacksons audio.

Indict Rahm! the protesters shouted as a brief shoving match ensued.

Those who interrupted Jackson, included a group shouting black power! and carrying red, green and black flags.

Amid cries of Send Rahm to jail, Jackson and the other officials quickly dispersed as the masses hijacked Jacksons presentation, and competed with the shoppers who flocked downtown to advantage of Black Friday sales.

No justice, no shopping, some chanted. Black lives matter not Black Friday!

Others screamed, 16 shots, 13 months, pointing to how long it took authorities to charge Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the African-American teenagers death. McDonalds body was shot 16 times.

We want Rahm Emanuel in jail, others said. They also chanted, Black out Black Friday and The whole system is guilty as hell.

Then officers blocked off the entrance of Water Tower Place. Some protesters had apparently tried to get into the popular shopping center.

Maze Jackson said the conflict developed because black parents had begun the protests over McDonalds death and others sought to grab the limelight at Fridays event. Jackson singled out Thomas Balanoff, the white leader of the politically powerful Service Employees International Union.

Explain to me why Tom Balanoff would be at the front of a march for a dead black child, Maze Jackson said. Does he have a black child?

Gwen Stuttley, a retired social worker from Hyde Park who brought her daughter and son, and her 9-year-old grandson, whos visiting from Oklahoma.

Stuttley isnt typically political, but she led her family up Michigan Avenue chanting in the cold rain: Indict, convict send those killer cops in jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.

This touched my heart, she explained. To watch this video and see that young man shot 16 times and the police said they shot him because they feared for his life?

Im a mother and I have an African-American son and an African-American grandson and it could have been one of them, easily, it could have been one of them, so my concern is grave.

Joshua pumped a fist in the air in the blowing rain and repeated after his grandmother, 16 shots, 13 months.

At one point, shoppers were turned away from entering Water Tower Place. No justice, no profit, marchers screamed.

Some protesters yelled at shoppers in front of Topshop, Dont shop today! But the shoppers went in anyway.

There were some demonstrators who linked their arms in front of many stores, refusing to let anyone in. Several shoving matches broke out.

Paxton Murphy of Chicagos South Loop said she was shoved and forcibly pushed back as she was trying to enter the Crate and Barrel store, 646 N. Michigan.

Im totally, totally sick of these kids getting killed, she said, but that has nothing to do with me using the bathroom at the f Crate and Barrel.

An officer stepped in when a protester told Murphy she was an instigator who needed to leave the sidewalk in front of Crate & Barrel. The officer said, She can say what she wants and you can say what you want.

A block north outside the Tiffany & Co store, 730 N. Michigan, seven protesters locked arms, telling potential customers, Its closed, and chanting, While you shop, people get shot.

A Tiffany security guard was trying to help a customer sneak past them when a protester bumped into the customer.

You cant elbow her, an African-American woman walking by called out. Youre going to get yourself arrested.

Later, another Tiffany customer demanded to get past protesters but protesters refused. The woman became angry, and tried to push past. Police quickly ran over and tried to help her get into the store.

That sparked a pushing and shoving melee between police and protesters, as police pushed and pulled the woman into the entrance where a frantic manager grabbed her I and pulled her inside.

Police and protesters got in each others faces for about 10 minutes before the tension quelled. Officers stepped back into their observation line, and protesters again blocked the entrance, chanting, Sixteen shots and a cover-up! And, Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Rahm Emanuel has got to go!

About 10 protesters later made it onto Lake Shore Drive at Michigan Avenue, linking hands and chanting Sixteen shots! They halted traffic for about 10 minutes, before police ran toward them. The group then dropped hands and ran, eluding police.

Twenty more protesters blocked the doors of the Apple Store, 679 N. Michigan.

I understand what you guys are doing but I want to shop, Bruno Behrend of River Forest told them.

This is an example of white privilege, someone yelled.

Then LaMont Williams, 27, told him: This store is closed because your life matters. We are doing an economic boycott.

Williams of the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood blocked the door. Behrend and his family eventually gave up and left, prompting cheers from the protesters.

By then, store personnel had made the decision to not let anyone inside.

Protester Anthony D. Bryant, 21, said he felt his activism was needed for the broader public to come to understand what people are going through.

We value our lives more than money in our pockets, he said.

A man and woman from Omaha, Nebraska, failed to get into the Tommy Bahama store, 520 N. Michigan. Theyd been visiting their daughter, whos a resident in the emergency room at Stroger Hospital.

This is not right, said the woman, who declined to give her name. We didnt do anything wrong. We just want to shop. This is our right.

A couple from Carbondale traveled to came to Michigan Avenue Friday to shop at Zara and Sephora. They didnt get into either.

How are they going to get out? Ohlim Kwon wondered about shoppers trapped inside the Zara, where protesters locked arms, saying Shut it down.

When told about McDonalds death, they were astounded. Thats crazy, Enoch Hwang said of the shooting.

n Tuesday, the Chicago Police released a graphic dashcam video that captured the 16 shots fired by Van Dyke in October 2014. Van Dyke was charged the same day with murder, and is being held without bail in the Cook County Jail.

Outrage and protests followed the court-ordered release of the footage. There were protests in the Loop Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to Fridays marches.

James Hinton, a 49-year-old auto worker at the Ford plant on the South Side, came to the Michigan Avenue march with his 9-year-old daughter, Brooklyn. He said he was irate that it took 13 months and the impending release of the videotape to charge Van Dyke and remove him from the force.

Van Dyke was on desk duty, still getting his $84,000 annual salary, until he was charged.

He stayed on the desk working for a whole year of pay, Hinton said. Rahm hollers about the city needing money, taxes and everything else, but those were taxpayer dollars paying [Van Dyke's] salary.

This is my first protest and it feels kind of good to get justice, Hintons daughter said. It feels exciting.

By Joe Ward | November 27, 2015 8:26am | Updated on November 27, 2015 1:24pm

As protesters snaked through the cars stuck on southbound Michigan Avenue, some stuck drivers started honking in solidarity.

"It actually doesn't bother me," said Sterling Powers, who was stuck in traffic.

She showed her solidarity, honking her horn to the rhythm of the protesters chants and giving the thumbs up out her window.

"It's inconvienent for us in America all the time African-American, Pan-African it don't matter," said Powers, a Jamaican immigrant. "So we can be inconvienenced for a little bit for this."

Asked why she thought to honk her horn, she said "because [16] shots is ridiculous."

The hundreds of protesters made their way from Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive down to Michigan and Chicago, where organizers addressed the crowd from the steps of the water tower.

Their instructions were to make lines of protesters in front of nearby stores.

One man, Grant Newburger, used his bull horn addressed shoppers directly.

"Today, there is no shopping on Michigan Avenue," he said. "Because Laquan McDonald won't have a Christmas. Rekia Boyd won't have a Christmas.

"If it was your sons and daughters, you'd be out here too," he said.

In many cases, police had already blocked off the stores and ordered stores to not let anyone in or out. Many shoppers inside American Girl Place and Macy's at Water Tower Place could be seen pacing by the closed front doors of the store, not able to leave.

A security guard at Water Tower Place said management made the decision to temporarily close the building with shoppers inside. It would open up its doors when police deemed it safe, he said.

Barricades were erected outside of the Macy's at Water Tower Place.

The protest did bother some shoppers, many of whom said they were from out of state and only had the day to check out Chicago's Mag Mile stores. There were confrontations between protesters and frustrated shoppers, who in some cases enlisted the help of nearby police to get into stores.

"I understand the protest, but there's got to be a better way," said Sue Hahn, who came with her family from Southwest Michigan. She was turned away from American Girl Place.

"It's inconvient. We planned this for two months," she said. "But what can you do."

Other shoppers understood why the demonstrators were angry.

Bonnie Pugh was on the Mag Mile visiting with her two kids from Columbus, Ohio. Her son asked her what people are doing. "Well, they shot a man 16 times and they're mad," she told her son. "I guess it's education for my kids," she said. "They've never seen anything like this." She said she agreed with protesters' right to march, but questioned the idea of blocking shopping, especially in an area populated with non-residents.

"All these people should be in jail," said one man to police letting him back in to Macy's at Water Tower. RELATED: Read the Charges Against Jason Van Dyke, Officer Who Shot Laquan McDonald

But Rev. Michael Pfleger said money is the only thing the political powers care about. "The only thing that makes people listen is money," he told reporters. "People are angry. It's time to say, 'business as usual is over.'"

Police, though, blocked entrances to a number of shops, including Macy's and the Water Tower Place mall.


November 28, 2015 at 4:48 PM

By: Jean Schwab


I think people should be demonstrating because African Americans have been killed by police when they have done minor things and not a danger to the police or community. My daughter and I believe that the same people who are demonstrating against the police killings need to demonstrate against the gangs that kill so many innocent children. We need to band together to rid gangs from all our communities! I believe that more innocent people have been killed by gangs than police.

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