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Chicagoans protest police-involved killing as police commander is charged

Chicagoans protest the police-involved shooting and killing of Roshad McIntosh on the West Side of Chicago on Aug. 27, 2014.
Chicagoans protest the police-involved shooting and killing of Roshad McIntosh on the West Side of Chicago on Aug. 27, 2014.
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Approximately 500 Chicago citizens protested near the Chicago Police Department’s Harrison District 11 headquarters, at 2842 West Polk Street on the city’s West Side, according to the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday. The protests included the police-involved shooting death of 18-year-old Roshad McIntosh, one of two persons shot and killed by Chicago police on Sunday. McIntosh was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital shortly after being shot at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Sunday by a policeman in the 2800 block of West Polk Street in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.

The protesters marched through the area, passing the Harrison District headquarters at 3151 West Harrison Street and settling in the vacant lot alongside a two-story apartment building where McIntosh was shot and killed. Police claim McIntosh was armed and pointed a gun at police - but protesters, including McIntosh’s mother Dawn, claim otherwise. Protest organizers rallied the group of protesters from one of the house’s back porches. One of the speakers, Tio Hardiman who is the former head of the anti-violence group CeaseFire Illinois, told the crowd that this is not about personalities or individuals. He said via a loudspeaker, “This is about unity… It is time for a change in our community.”

Yet, some protesters carried balloons and posters including a poster referencing McIntosh. A memorial to the deceased young man was made on the rear porch of the building where he was shot. According to Storify, there was another gathering on Wednesday as well. A post by that publication stated that McIntosh’s mother spoke at an event at the Federal Building in Downtown Chicago on Wednesday morning. While speaking at the corner of Dearborn and Jackson Streets in the loop, the victim’s mother invited persons to the evening event on Polk.

The event was organized by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression as well as the Stop Police Crimes campaign. On behalf of over 100 survivors of police crimes and torture, a letter to the United States Attorney General was presented. Beyond the gathering in protest of the shooting death of McIntosh, Chicago police made headlines on Wednesday when a police commander, Glenn Evans, was charged with having placed the barrel of his gun into a suspect’s mouth.

Evans, who has been frequently praised by Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy for his style of fighting crime in Chicago’s challenging neighborhoods, faces one count of aggravated battery and one count of official misconduct. In spite of McCarthy’s praise of Evans – which came as recently as Monday - he released a statement regarding the allegations which now say: “The alleged actions, if true, are unacceptable to both the residents we serve and to the men and women of this department.” He went on to say that Evans has been relieved of his police powers pending the outcome of the case.

The allegations against Evans and two of his officers were made a year-and-a-half ago on Jan. 30, 2013. Evans was the commander of the South Side’s Grand Crossing patrol district when he and his officers came upon Rickey J. Williams, 24, near the corner of 71st Street and Eberhart Avenue. The police claim Williams was holding a blue steel handgun in his right hand. Reportedly, when Evans approached the man, he ran off. When caught in an abandoned home, Williams did not have a gun on him but was arrested and charged with reckless conduct – which is a misdemeanor. It is not known at what point Evans allegedly put his service gun in Williams’ mouth.

However, a State Police lab report did find Williams’ DNA on Evans gun barrel. Williams is currently being held on other charges at the Pontiac Correctional Center.
According to the Chicago Tribune report, Evans is one of 662 officers with 11 or more complaints during a five-year period since 2000. Evans reportedly had 14 complaints against him between 2001 and 2006. He faced no disciplinary action for any of them. Cmdr. Evans was promoted to commander two years ago.