Protests erupt after Chicago police kill unarmed man

By Kristina Betinis
17 December 2012

Angry protests erupted after Chicago police shot and killed 23-year-old Jamaal Moore on the morning of December 15.

Area residents, including some of Moore's family members, reacted with fury to the killing. Gathering near the intersection of Ashland and Garfield shortly after the young man was killed, people threw bottles and rocks at police cars and physically confronted police. Police officers were seen fighting with residents.

Dozens of police brigades were brought in to shut down the street and subdue the residents. At least eight people were arrested.

Police suspected Moore to have been one of a group of men burglarizing cars in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city's south side. After the car he was riding in crashed, police reported that they “may have struck” Moore with a police vehicle as he fled on foot.

Witnesses said Moore was run over by the police.

After being hit by a police car, Moore, according to the police, was shot while fighting with an officer. The officer shouted that Moore was armed, when in fact he was unarmed. Later he was reported to have had some sort of flashlight.

Witnesses who immediately contacted the media reported seeing Moore struggling with a police officer who handcuffed him and then shot him. Moore later died at Saint Bernard Hospital.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said there is police video of the incident. It has not been released.

Earlier last week, Chicago police killed 38-year-old Philip Coleman, who was, according to family members and a neighbor, apparently having a nervous breakdown and behaving erratically. Police subdued him with a taser when he was arrested and again after he arrived at Roseland Hospital. He died in Roseland on December 13.

Coleman's sister Jacqueline told the Sun-Times, “He was not treated justly, he was treated like an insect.”

According to the City of Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, where requests for investigations of police shootings and tasings are logged, at least 43 people were shot by police from January to September of this year.