Chicago police shooting sparks violent protests

Police approached the man to inquire about a "bulge around his waistband."

Protesters wave a giant black flag outside a Chicago police station. CREDIT: TWitter/@MsKellyMHayes
Protesters wave a giant black flag outside a Chicago police station. CREDIT: TWitter/@MsKellyMHayes

Violent protests broke out on the streets of Chicago’s South Side Saturday night after police fatally shot an individual “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person.” The shooting took place around 5:30 p.m. and protests fomented shortly thereafter, culminating with a march and demonstrations that lasted until 1 a.m.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said he believed “inaccurate information” about the victim being unarmed incited the crowd. “There were some members of the community who were upset. This is a tragic situation where an individual lost his life,” he said.

In the initial protests after the shooting, demonstrators screamed that the police were “murderers” and threw rocks and glass bottles, some of which contained urine. According to Guglielmi, four officers were injured and four demonstrators were arrested.

Marchers congregated at around 10 p.m., including hundreds of activists, including Black Lives Matter organizers and members of the Citizen Police Accountability Council. During the three-hour protest, their chants included, “No justice, no peace,” and “How you spell racist? CPD.”


According to patrol chief Fred Waller, officers saw a bulge in the victim’s trousers they believed to be a gun. When they approached him, “he started flailing and swinging away” and eventually “reached for the gun.” He did not fire at the police. After the man was shot, police recovered a “gun and two ammunition magazines.” The man later died of his injuries.

The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on desk duty for 30 days pending an investigation of the incident.

Though the victim has not been identified, the Chicago Tribune interviewed someone who had worked with him at a barbershop for three years. Antoine Howell said that the victim was supposed to attend his bachelor party that night and had just given him a haircut in preparation for the celebration. He had then stepped out to buy cigarettes and change his clothes. “He cut my hair and got killed 10 minutes later,” Howell said. “I’m hurt… I gotta go on with my life, but I loved that man.”

Similar protests followed the officer shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2015. Video of that shooting ultimately contradicted how Chicago police had attempted to justify it.