NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Five people were arrested Monday night in a demonstration near the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, protesting the handling of a police shooting that killed a teenage boy in Chicago.
The protest was held Monday night in the wake of the shooting by a Chicago Police officer that killed Laquan McDonald, 17, last year, and what critics allege was a cover-up for a year afterward.
Activist and organizer Keegan Stephan shot video of one of the arrests, which he called “violent” on the part of police at a peaceful protest. Stephan reported that the person arrested in the video was 16 years old.
In the video, police are seen handcuffing protesters, and officers appear to be struggling to restrain them. Others at the protest are heard calling an arresting officer a “pig” and demanding his badge number.
The protesters who were arrested were charged with obstruction of governmental administration, police said.
In the Chicago incident that sparked the protest, McDonald, who was black, was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder late last month.
Prosecutors said Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times in a span of less than seconds on Oct. 20, 2014. McDonald was carrying a 3-inch blade, and was walking away from Van Dyke when the officer opened fire on Pulaski Road on Chicago’s Southwest Side, according to prosecutors.
Critics have alleged a cover-up in the case, since it took more than a year from when McDonald was killed to bring criminal charges, and since there are written reports from officers at the scene that do not fit the dascham video of the incident.
A judge ordered the release of the dashcam video just before Van Dyke was charged.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel later asked for the resignation of police Supt. Garry McCarthy, and formed a “police accountability” task force. He also personally apologized for the McDonald incident, CBS Chicago reported.
“I am the mayor. As I said the other day, I own it. I take responsibility for what happened, because it happened on my watch, and if we’re going to fix it, I want you to understand it’s my responsibility with you, but if we’re also going to begin the healing process, the first step is my step, and I’m sorry,” Emanuel said last week.
But since then, activists, faith and civil rights leaders and several other critics have called for Emanuel to resign over the incident. Critics have also called for the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.