Chicago Protesters To Disrupt Black Friday

Protesters in Chicago have told local officials that they plan on disrupting Black Friday sales at shopping sites throughout the city. The group Stop Mass Incarceration will be holding peaceful protest at 11 a.m. Friday at malls mainly in the downtown area of Chicago along the Miracle Mile, one of the city’s most iconic shopping sites.

The Chicago protests began Tuesday after the city released dashcam video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting a teenager. Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times.

While Wednesday night demonstrators chanted and sometimes blocked traffic Tuesday night, police reported few problems. A protest was held Wednesday afternoon at City Hall and others were planned at various locations Wednesday night.

The demonstrations, which at times blocked some of Chicago’s busy Interstate highways, were largely peaceful, some turned confrontational during the night.

Skirmishes broke out between protesters and police, who surrounded officers after they apparently made arrests. Protesters also tried to stop a police SUV from leaving with arrestees – an effort that failed. As the sound of sirens filled the air, police were met with shouts of “16 shots” – the number of times the officer charged with murder fired at McDonald, 17, in October 2014 – and “No Black Friday!” Some protesters showed up in gas masks, and some pushed against a police line, but no smoke or tear gas came.


Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.