Activists Will March Downtown To Protest Police Shooting Of Paul O'Neal
By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 5, 2016 8:50PM
Facebook / BLM Chicago Youth
Hundreds are expected to take part in a protest march on Sunday against police brutality and “systemic oppression” in response to the police-involved shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.
The march is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Wrigley Square in Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) It is organized by the same group of four teen girls who orchestrated a huge sit-in on July 11 shortly after a pair of controversial police shooting deaths that were also recorded. More than 1000 people attended that demonstration, which also suspended traffic on Michigan Ave. in both directions.
Co-organizer Maxine Wint, 16, made pained reference to the previous action in press release sent to Chicagoist outlining Sunday’s event.
“Knowing that it’s only been four weeks since many youth gathered, for the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and someone else’s death has become a hashtag is mentally draining,” she said in the statement.
Said fellow co-organizer Natalie Braye, 16:
“The United States was built on the oppression of people of color and women and we cannot move towards a more equitable society without acknowledging this fact. There is an obvious need for change in this country and it needs to happen now,” says
O’Neal was killed by police after allegedly fleeing a reportedly stolen Jaguar with which he hit two police cars during a chase. O’Neal was shot in the back by one of the responding officers. A video dump released by the Independent Police Review Authority on Friday shows events leading up to and after the fatal shooting. (Much of the incident was captured by dashcams and body cameras, but not the actual shooting itself. The body camera worn by the officer responsible for the fatal shot was not operational.)
The videos also captured a host of controversial police reactions: an officer kicking O’Neal’s head; one officer commenting, “Fuck man, I’m going to be on a desk for 30 days;” and two officers appearing to high-five each other after the shooting.
O’Neal’s sister, Briana Adams, 22, said on Friday “words can’t describe how I feel at this moment.” “I want everybody to know that Paul had goals,” she added.
Sunday’s march was planned before the release of the footage had been announced.