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25 Nov, 2015 03:14

‘They left him dead’: Protests erupt after video shows cop shooting black teen 16 times

‘They left him dead’: Protests erupt after video shows cop shooting black teen 16 times

Arrests have been made after several hundred people hit the Chicago streets Tuesday night to protest over police dashcam video showing the disturbing fatal shooting death of African-American teen Laquan McDonald.

READ MORE: Chicago police release video showing officer shooting 17yo black teen

The city of Chicago has been preparing for protests in advance of the video’s release, which was ordered by a judge to happen no later than Wednesday.

The dashcam video captured a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke, 37, opening fire on McDonald, striking him 16 times and killing him.

A group of about 75 demonstrators had gathered peacefully during a press conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “I understand people will be upset and want to protest when they see this video,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Mayor Emanuel cited the McDonald family, “They have asked for calm, and for those who do protest to do so peacefully.”

“It is fine to be passionate, but it is essential to remain peaceful,” Emanuel added.

Protesters circled the intersection at Roosevelt and Halsted after the official release, chanting protests of “16 shots! 16 shots!” and “they left him dead.

Demonstrators were angry that it took a year for police and prosecutors to file charges against Van Dyke.

Chicago police officers and state police walked alongside the protesters, who remained peaceful.

However, clashes did happen with bike police as activists chanted, “The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching!”

Two protesters were arrested and taken into custody, and one officer was injured, according to ABC Chicago.

Later reports said three protesters had been arrested.

A municipal bus driver also tooted the horn in support of protesters

About 30 to 40 people later met inside an art gallery on Halsted Street. The group told NBC Chicago they had gathered to reflect on the video and discuss their emotions upon seeing it. As more people joined the group, they later marched to Roosevelt Road, about one block away, chanting, "Is this a joke? They think it's a joke!"

A group of several hundred people linked arms to block an intersection. At least two cars stuck in the middle, with police trying to get them out.

Protesters chanted "Yeah, we're going to be all right!"

Three activists were arrested during Tuesday night’s demonstrations. Lawyers told The Guardian they would be released Wednesday afternoon but declined to make a further statement about what charges they might face.