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Near-Riot Erupts in North Lawndale

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 7, 2007 2:19PM

032807_police.jpgWith the news reports of the Taser death of Gefery Johnson not even a few days old, this was the last thing the Chicago Police Department needed.

Police shot and killed a recent Manley High School graduate last night in the North Lawndale neighborhood and wound up having to quell a near riot as residents took to the streets in protest. Witnesses to the shooting said that 18-year-old Aaron Harrison was just hanging out with friends in front of a grocery store on the 1100 block of South Mozart, while police relied on the tried-but-true "he flashed a piece at us" explanation that seems to accompany most of these shootings.

When word of Harrison's death spread, scores of residents took to the streets disputing the police account of the shooting. As the crowd became more agitated threw bottles, police called in reinforcements from other districts, cordoned off a four-block area, used pepper spray on some protesters, and broke a newspaper photographer's camera. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, and residents later marched to the Police Department's Harrison District station to hold a more peaceful protest and prayer vigil.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Cagle.