Hundreds of protesters weaved through downtown streets Tuesday night into Wednesday morning after Chicago officials released the video of the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old by a Chicago police officer.
The march halted traffic for a few minutes on Interstate 290 in and out of the city, just east of the bridge over the Chicago River, around midnight but the protest moved mostly between 18th Street and downtown.
There were a few scuffles and one man, 22, was arrested after police said he punched an officer. Malcolm London, of the Austin neighborhood, was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer. The rest of those arrested, about six people, were cited for obstructing traffic, police said.
Many of the marchers chanted, "16 times," referring to the number of bullets fired by Officer Jason Van Dyke at Laquan McDonald, 17. A dash-cam video showing the shooting near 41st Street and Pulaski Road in October 2014 was released late Tuesday afternoon, hours after Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.
Before the march, dozens of black activists gathered inside an art gallery just south of Halsted Street and Roosevelt Road to talk about the video. Fresco Steez of the Black Youth Project 100 later asked reporters to be aware of protesters' "raw" feelings.
"Tonight, what we're having is another instance of a killing, a public lynching of another young black man, so we're asking you to give us some space to process our feeling around that. ... Their feelings might be raw," Steez said.
Minutes later, the group emerged from the building, chanting. Activists later spilled into the streets, yelling in unison, "16 times." They called for an overhaul of the Chicago Police Department, demanded more resources for disenfranchised communities, and scoffed at city officials' suggestions on how communities should react to the violent footage.
The demonstrators, numbering about 150, were accompanied into the South Loop by a police escort on bicycles and in squad cars. At Roosevelt and State Streets, protesters locked hands, enveloping several police cars.
As the crowd grew to more than 300, police blocked protesters from crossing the Balbo Avenue bridge toward Columbus Drive, and there was a confrontation with police on bicycles. One officer fell beneath a bike, and a protester stomped on the bike.
At least three people were taken into custody, and one officer was taken to an ambulance.
After London was arrested, protesters tried to block the police SUV that was to take him to the Central District police station about a mile south. The driver tried to back the SUV east on Balbo, with an officer banging on the back window to signal the driver when it was OK to step on the gas.
But the driver eventually went over a curb and doubled back to Indiana Avenue as officers tried to move protesters out of the way.
Protesters eventually marched away, winding down more streets to gather at the Central District station, blocking traffic along the way.
"People are mad as hell," said Page May, an organizer with We Charge Genocide. "It still feels so unnecessary."