Protesters In Chicago Call For Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Resignation

Dec 10, 2015
Originally published on December 10, 2015 6:28 pm
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Protests are continuing in Chicago. They began after the release of a dash cam video last month of a white police officer shooting and killing a black teenager. NPR's David Schaper reports that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's apology yesterday at a special meeting of the city council did little to stop calls for his resignation.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: This morning, a silent protest - medical students in white lab coats laid side-by-side outside of city hall in a die-in demonstration that lasted 16 minutes, one minute for each of the 16 bullets fired by police officer Jason Van Dyke into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald last year. It follows a much more cacophonous march through the streets of Chicago last night.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Sixteen shots, 16 shots.

NATAKI RHODES: We out here because we're demanding justice.

SCHAPER: And by justice, 43-year-old Nataki Rhodes means more than just the murder charge in the Laquan McDonald shooting. She wants more resources and better opportunities in neighborhoods such as hers on Chicago's South Side. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's impassioned address, in which he got choked up, didn't impress.

RHODES: I cry, too, every time my nephew get locked up. I cry, too, every time somebody gets shot in Chicago.

(CHEERING)

DOUGLASS BEVEL: I call that crocodile tears, and I'm going to tell you why.

SCHAPER: Fifty-year-old Douglass Bevel.

BEVEL: You know, people might like Rahm. They might not like him, but no one can say he's a fool. And for him to sit up and pretend like this wasn't a problem in existence, it just - that he was not very well aware of is not genuine to me.

SCHAPER: For all of his political acumen, Bevel says Mayor Emanuel underestimated the level of anger and frustration over long-standing problems in many Chicago communities, so the protests will continue until there's change. David Schaper, NPR News, Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.