Protesters take aim at shootings by cops, decry police brutality
BY LEEANN SHELTON Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org October 22, 2011 6:58PM
16th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality in the Thompson Center, Saturday, October 22, 2011. | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.
Updated: November 24, 2011 8:32AM
An organizer of a downtown protest against police brutality Saturday said Flint Farmer’s death in June was “just another case of a young black man shot to death by police for no reason.”
Farmer, 29, was fatally shot by police June 7 in the 6200 block of South Wolcott. Police have defended the shooting, saying he “aggressively came at” an officer responding to a domestic battery call.
But protest organizer Grant Neuberger, reading from a letter from Farmer’s father, said the younger Farmer carried a cell phone, not a weapon, when he was shot.
“Someone who is really in charge of these police officers should make sure they know they are supposed to protect and serve, not shoot and kill every person they are apprehending,” Neuberger told the 50 people at the protest.
The protest, organized by the October 22nd Coalition, was part of a series of similar demonstrations Saturday in 25 cities nationwide. The protesters reconvened later Saturday outside the Chicago Hilton and Towers, which was hosting a meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“These police chiefs from around the world have used their forces to brutalize,” organizer Jay Becker said. “They have brought violence down on people struggling for their human rights.”
Demonstrators chanted, “Cairo, London, Chicago. Police brutality Has got to go!”
At the earlier protest, Gregory Koger cited recent complaints against Chicago police, including that of 13-year-old Jimmell Cannon’s family. They maintain he was unarmed when he was shot eight times by police July 25 in the 1000 block of North Kedvale.
Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Carlos Weeden said that case remains under investigation, and is one at least 50 police-involved shootings this year.
Among the speeches and slogans, Ann Diaz, of Chicago, clutched a picture of her brother Joey Diaz, who was shot and killed by Berwyn police in 2000. He was unarmed, she said, and the officers involved remain employed following an investigation into Diaz’s death.
“They’re trained to know what to do,” said Diaz. “It shouldn’t get to that point, where someone has to lose their life.”
Berwyn police officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.