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Racial Slurs Hurled At Mt. Greenwood Protesters After Fatal Shooting By Off-Duty Cop

By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 7, 2016 3:52PM

Protests grew tense on Saturday and Sunday in Mt. Greenwood as anti-police-violence activists and Blue Lives Matter protesters demonstrated opposite one another after an off-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot Indiana man Joshua Beal.

Police said in a release that an off-duty firefighter approached Beal’s vehicle on Saturday around 3 p.m. because his car was blocking a fire lane. Two nearby off-duty police officers stepped in after a fight broke out, and “shots were fired striking the individual multiple times,” police said.

But Beal’s family recalls the situation differently. Cordney Boxley, Beal’s sister, said an off-duty officer tried to run the car in which Beal was riding from the road. A man appears to point a gun in a video that the Sun-Times surfaced. Family members say Beal had a permit for the weapon and didn’t fire it. About a dozen shots can be heard fired in a cellphone video of the incident, but the footage doesn't show where the gunfire originates.

A video posted by Black Lives Matter Chicago shows a white man shouting at a group of protesters who peaceably approached a small group on Saturday, in the wake of the shooting.

“Get the fuck out of here!” one man yells toward the end of the clip. “Go home! We don’t want you in our neighborhood!”

“Pieces of shit, that’s what you are… These guys are protecting our neighborhood from fuckers like you,” he shouted.

Activist Ja’Mal Green organized a rally on Sunday in the 11000 block of South Kedzie Avenue, where protests emerged the night before. The group was met with a large crowd of counter-protesters, which numbered in the hundreds and at points shouted racial slurs, according to DNAinfo. “The other group, which was mostly white, chanted “Blue Lives Matter” and “Trump, Trump, Trump,” reported WBEZ. “They held signs that read “Go home animals” and “You ruined your own communities, Don’t ruin ours.”

Mt. Greenwood has a long history of contentious race relations. A New York Times story from 1992 by Isabel Wilkerson that details stark segregation and its effects was heavily re-circulated on social media over the weekend.

Black Lives Matter Chicago is working with the Beal family to cover the costs of funeral services. The Chicago Bond Fund is collecting bail money for Joshua's brother, Michael Beal, who was arrested during the original incident on Saturday.

Update, 12:15 p.m.:
A screenshot of a racist text message, allegedly sent by a student from Marist High School in Mt. Greenwood in the wake of the shooting and protests, prompted a response from the school. The (awful) text message and the school's response are below.

Marist officials responded in a post:

"This evening Marist High School was made aware of a racially charged post on social media involving Marist students. We are devastated by this situation. Disciplinary action is being taken. Marist is a diverse community, made better and stronger by that diversity. As a school community, we continually work so that each student feels welcome, valued, and safe.

We have been and will continue to engage with diverse student leaders to give a voice to all students and to focus on shared values.

Given the tenuous times we all are living in, and recent events nearby Marist High School, our mission to make Jesus known and loved is more pertinent than ever. As always, the safety of our students is of utmost importance."

[H/T DNA Info]

Update, 12:30 p.m.:
Anthony Guglielmi, CPD Communications Director, said detectives authenticated the referenced video, which appears to show Beal pointing then lowering a gun after another man approaches with his gun drawn.