Protesters Demand Federal Investigation Into Police Shootings
CHICAGO (CBS) – Protesters gathered outside the Dirksen Federal Building on Wednesday, saying the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., and statistics regarding fatal police-involved shootings in the Chicago area show it’s time for a sweeping federal investigation into police conduct.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy previously has said police-involved shootings have been cut in half in the past three years, but members of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression argued police have killed 86 people in five years, 80 percent of them African-Americans.
Among the approximately 30 demonstrators was Jeff Baker, who said the city should have an elected review board to investigate police shootings, rather than an agency whose top officials are appointed by the mayor and City Council.
“The people are too far away from the decision-making process; and as long as the people are that far away from power and making the decisions, then the people’s will is not done,” Baker said.
One of those carrying posters of people shot and killed by police officers was Ray Sloan III, who said his family has not received a good answer in the shooting of his 20-year-old brother-in-law, Charles Brown.
Brown was shot and killed in April. Harvey police have said Brown was shot because he tried to run down officers with his car after the officers responded to a call of a possible armed robbery at a hotel in the 16900 block of South Halsted Street.
“Charlie was a successful person. He had his apprenticeship in plumbing. He was a Jesse White Tumbler. He was a UFC fighter. He was a successful young man at the age of 20, and for the police to take his life, it’s not right,” Sloan said.
Protest organizer Frank Chapman delivered a letter to U.S Attorney Zach Fardon’s office, calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder conduct a nationwide investigation into police-involved shootings and alleged police brutality. Chapman said the letter is useful, even if Fardon didn’t meet the group in person.
“The citizens are never wasting their time when they ask the government to do something. That’s one of our civic responsibilities. We weren’t wasting our time. We need more people putting their feet on the streets, and asking for justice in these situations,” he said.