Activists closed down much of Michigan Avenue Sunday night to protest the latest death of an unarmed black teenager by Chicago police.
Two days after the Independent Police Review Authority released videos of the circumstances surrounding O’Neal’s death, about 300 marchers joined forces with the Black Lives Matter Chicago Youth group. They gathered in Millennium Park, walked south down Michigan Avenue, then circled north on State Street, where they sat in the intersection of State and Lake. Then they walked back onto Michigan Avenue up to Chicago Avenue, with police barricading traffic the entire way. There were at least 100 officers following marchers.
Anthony Hendricks said he came to the rally because of what he’s heard about the death of Paul O’Neal. It was his first time at a Black Lives Matter event. “It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do,” said Hendricks.
“I think a lot of people assume that only people of color do attend these rallies, but you look around here, and you see people from every walk of life, every age. It’s exciting to see everyone’s getting behind the movement. It’s important,” he said.
On Saturday, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said he found the videos of O’Neal’s death “concerning.”
He said people have a right to be upset by what the videos show, and that he sees “potential policy and training violations.”
Johnson said that since the incident is under investigation, he couldn’t go into specific details.