A few hundred protesters hit Chicago's downtown streets Friday during another protest demanding Mayor Rahm Emanuel's resignation over the Laquan McDonald case.
A few hundred protesters marched through downtown Chicago Friday afternoon and into the evening as part of a "citywide walkout" demanding Mayor Rahm Emanuel's resignation.
The hours-long protest, which was continuing as of publication time, is the latest in a string of near-daily demonstrations calling for Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to step down following last month's release of the Laquan McDonald police shooting video.
There are reports of arrests on social media. However, when contacted at 7:15 p.m., Chicago Police News Affairs had no immediate information on whether arrests were made at the protest.
Activists began their protest in the late afternoon at the Daley Center, where they released 16 balloons, signifying the number of times Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old McDonald in October 2014. From there, protesters marched around City Hall and later made their way to the Magnificent Mile. They temporarily blocked the doors to Water Tower Place as they shouted, "No justice! No profits!"
"Rahm needs to resign," said protester Charles Kotrba, a senior at Whitney M. Young High School, who held a sign of Emanuel's face with an "X" across it. "The people don't trust him. He has like an 18 percent approval rating right now. He has time and time again basically said that police brutality and racial discrimination is OK in terms of the police department and at a bigger level, and all these people are just fed up. We're really not going to stop until he's gone and out of the city."
Kotrba was one of many students who participated in the demonstration.
"We shouldn't have to worry about kids our age getting shot," he stressed. "This should never happen. But we're at a point where we're very desensitized to it because it's happening so much. It's really, really sad. A 17-year-old should not have to worry about getting shot."
William "Dock" Walls, one of Emanuel's challengers in this year's mayoral election, also joined the protest.
"There is a culture of corruption in the city of Chicago, and Chicago's in need of reform. It's in need of resources, and we're also in need of resignations from Rahm Emanuel and from Anita Alvarez," he said. "Rahm needs to resign simply because people have lost confidence and lost trust in him. Anita Alvarez needs to resign because she's not doing her job ... They're distractions to the city of Chicago."
Emanuel has come under fire for suppressing the police dash-cam video of McDonald's shooting for more than a year, amid his re-election campaign, until a judge ordered its release last month. The mayor claims the video was not released sooner to avoid jeopardizing the case. Alvarez brought first-degree murder charges against Van Dyke just hours before the footage went public.
"If Laquan McDonald's video had never been released, Rahm would have acted as if it never happened," said Tio Hardiman of the Violence Interrupters. "That's the bigger problem."
Activist Rousemary Vega said Emanuel should do the "moral" thing and resign.
"When you cover up a murder, when you hide a video that holds so much evidence only to win elections, you're a criminal," she said. "You deceived your people. You lied to us."
As for Alvarez, it should not have taken her "400 days to bring justice for a child or any other person in our city," Vega added.
Check out scenes from the protest:
Protesters also reiterated their demands for the creation of a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC), which would investigate and prosecute claims of crimes by Chicago law enforcement and public officials.
"This empowers the people to hold the police, the mayor and everybody else in this city accountable when they commit a crime," said Frank Chapman with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression (CAARPR). "Right now, we have no way of holding them accountable."