Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stare Down with Chicago Cops

by J.R. Holmsted

Protesters flooded the streets of Chicago last night in response to a video showing Laquan McDonald being shot sixteen times by an officer last October. People across the nation were understandably shocked and upset when they watched the video that showed McDonald being shot 16 times by police. Many were even more angered that the black teen was shot by a white officer. The video was seemingly hidden from the public, angering many especially in light of recent events across the country and the call for increased police accountability. The situation is even further exacerbated by the delay in bringing charges against the officer for over year.

Despite tensions running high between citizens, cops, and the city's leadership, Chicago was spared a repeat of Ferguson and Baltimore. By all accounts this morning, the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful. There were a few reported non-violent civil disturbances and several arrests for blocking roadways, but that was the bulk of it. 

There was one man who stood out amongst the others. He protested without signs, chants, or marching in solidarity. His manner of protest? Relentlessly staring into the face of cops.

And the same man again, with a different cop:

A bold and controversial statement, but what of this approach? It seemed to be a tactic of intimidation, if not an outright attempt to provoke a reaction from the cops. Both cops showed measured restraint as cameras flashed around them, recording their every blink. The man certainly garnered media attention. Tweets have gone viral, GIFs have been made, and discussions have been sparked across social media. If that was his goal, he succeeded.

With the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, if the protests continue, one can only hope they will succeed in being as uneventful as they were last night.

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