The protesters chanted "No justice, no peace" and wore T-shirts
reading "Jail Rahm Now." It was the latest in a wave of peaceful and
mostly small protests in Chicago set off by the release of a video
of a white police officer shooting dead 17-year-old Laquan McDonald,
who was black, in October 2014.
Emanuel, a Democrat with strong White House ties who was elected to
a second term this year, and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez have
been the target of protests because of the year-long delay in
bringing charges against the officer in the video, Jason Van Dyke,
who faces trial for murder.
Chicago is the latest U.S. city to see demonstrations over the
deaths of young black men at the hands of police, many of them
caught on video.
Chicago police killed an average of 17 people a year over the last
seven years, most of them African American, and it is extremely
unusual for police officers to face charges or be disciplined in
such cases. It was not until uproar over the video of McDonald being
shot 16 times as he apparently walked away from the police that the
federal Department of Justice launched an investigation of civil
rights issues in the city's police department.
"There needs to be accountability for the injustices happening
throughout the Chicago Police Department and our justice system,"
said Maria Moser, a resident of the south-side suburb of Beverly,
who attended the march with her brother.
Earlier on Friday Van Dyke's defense attorney said he would seek a
change of venue for the officer's trial. He has been indicted by a
grand jury on six counts of first-degree murder and one charge of
[to top of second column]
Van Dyke, 37, is free on bail but was in court with his lawyer
Daniel Herbert for a very brief hearing following the indictment.
Cook County Circuit Judge James Brown set an arraignment for Dec.
29, when Van Dyke is expected to enter a plea.
A small group of protesters shouted insults at Van Dyke as he left
the court house.
Herbert told reporters he wants the trial moved to a county "outside
the reach" of Mayor Emanuel's comments. "He has essentially told
everyone in the public, in the City Council, that my client actually
murdered Mr. McDonald, that he's a bad apple."
Emanuel's office did not respond to a request for comment. The mayor
is not expected to heed calls for him to leave office.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski and Justin Madden; writing by Fiona
Ortiz, editing by Suzannah Gonzales and Dan Grebler)
[© 2015 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2015 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.