Date of Death: 5/16/2006
Demonstrators protest shooting
May 18, 2006|
Angry and sometimes raucous demonstrators descended Wednesday on an alderman’s
office and taunted police in response to the fatal shooting of a West Side man by a
Chicago police sergeant.
Shouts of “murderers!” echoed during the hour long march, but police spokeswoman
Monique Bond said a police roundtable discussion determined the unidentified Harrison
District sergeant acted appropriately because he “feared for his safety” when shooting
Jovan Walker, 24, at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Bond said Walker had been pointing a gun at the officer in a vacant lot near the 1200
block of North Monticello Avenue. A .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun was found near
Walker’s body; four bags of crack cocaine also were found on him, she said.
Records show that Walker has been arrested at least eight times since 1999, mostly for
drug possession, and has been in jail twice this year. Though the Cook County medical
examiner’s office said Wednesday that Walker was not shot in the back, the
demonstrators insisted he was shot in the back while raising his hands in surrender.
The shooting aftermath shows a sometimes tenuous relationship between police and the
Humboldt Park community, where more police presence often is requested but mistrust
still exists, said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th).
“A lot of the people who hang out on the street are anti-police all the time,” he said. “The
irony for me is that residents there are always calling me, trying to get the police over
there because it’s a high-crime area.”
About 20 protesters gathered around 12:30 p.m. near Division Street and Monticello
Avenue, a block from the site of the shooting. They marched about four blocks east to the
office of 26th Ald. Billy Ocasio (26th).
They packed Ocasio’s office for about 15 minutes, demanding of staff members to see the
alderman–who was not there–shouting, sometimes with profanity, and repeating their
chants of “Murder!” At least five squad cars arrived, and officers camped outside the
alderman’s office as protesters taunted them and cautioned one another that they could be shot next. No arrests were made.
But in fact, the demonstrators were at the wrong alderman’s office; the shooting happened in Burnett’s ward. Officers went to Burnett’s office, but the protesters never arrived, Burnett’s office said.