The announcement made December 7, 2015 by State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, that charges will not be filed in the murder of Ronald Johnson by CPD officer George Hernandez, illustrate Alvarez’s refusal to hold police accountable for the killing of innocent civilians. Alvarez began the press conference by stating that Johnson “fit the description” of a suspect because he was wearing a dark hoody. She proceeded to state that Hernandez’s “frame of mind” was important in considering accountability. She then showed a highly pixelated version of the dashcam video, showing that Johnson was running away from Hernandez. When asked by a reporter whether the dashcam video definitively showed Johnson holding a gun, Alvarez refused to answer.
She then showed a video of a police shooting that had nothing to do with Ronald Johnson, in effort to explain the possible “frame of mind” of George Hernandez in order to absolve of responsibility.
Instead of impartial, principled representation dedicated to serving the people of Chicago as Chief Prosecutor, Alvarez again operated instead, as chief defense attorney for the Chicago Police.
In a sworn deposition, Witness A reported that the “idea of a gun” came from detectives. Witness A stated in the deposition, "I had no thought, or the idea of a gun- wasn't a thing until they presented the idea to me." In the sworn deposition, Witness A is asked "Did the idea of a gun come from the detectives, not you?" Witness A replied, "That is correct". Witness A is asked, “Was it a lie that you thought it was a gun?” Witness A responds, “Yes, it was a lie that I thought it was a gun.”
Michael Oppenheimer, Ronald Johnson’s family attorney, reported that Alvarez refused to interview the officers involved in the shooting, including George Hernandez. Oppenheimer stated in addition, that Alvarez is now scapegoating the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) because the head, Scott Ando, conveniently announced his resignation, yesterday evening. We assert that Alvarez is shifting blame to IPRA in order to absolve herself from responsibility.
Alvarez represents the face of deep seated corruption that pervades every aspect of government in Chicago. Alvarez, CPD and the entire City government are guilty of covering up evidence of the murder of Ronald Johnson.
The inept and corrupt handling of both Laquan McDonald’s and Ronald Johnson’s cases, reveal complicity in cover ups that go all the way to the Mayor’s and State’s Attorney’s offices. It is not enough to force the resignation of police superintendent Gary McCarthy, the resignation of the head of IPRA, Scott Ando, and the resignation of CPD’s Chief of Detectives, Constantine Andrews. We call for the immediate resignation and criminal investigations of Anita Alvarez and Rahm Emanuel for the cover up of the murders of both Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson, both killed within 8 days of each other.
We demand the case be reopened and that a special prosecutor be assigned to review the case.
What could democratic control over police look like?
CPAC (Civilian Police Accountability Council) is a proposed ordinance that puts democratic control into the hands of the people with elected representatives voted in from each neighborhood.
“You need to understand the pain, because it’s real and it’s deep, and it goes farther than what anybody can explain to you... But I would just ask, while these folks are executing our people, let’s stop criminalizing the victim, because that doesn't come from the media, that comes from the cops. That’s where it comes from, they throw us all under the bus....This was my first meeting, it will not be my last."
Credit: Love & Struggle Photos
Photos courtesy of Sara-Ji.
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If you are interested in building community, agree with the Freedom Square mission and principles laid forth by the Let Us Breathe Collective, please complete THIS form to volunteer!
16 year old Pierre L. Loury was murdered by CPD April 11, 2016.
Pierre should be here.
We demand the name of the officers involved in his murder.
We demand justice for his family.
Read our full statement HERE.
On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, BLMChi along with WAPB joined Sandra Bland's family and loved ones in paying tribute to Sandy on the one year anniversary of her death. #SandyStillSpeaks was a memorialization and offering to her ongoing legacy and fight to obtain justice in her name. Ase!
our duty to fight is a call to join the rebellion being waged. Organized by Black Lives Matter Chicago (BLMChi) and allied movement organizations and projects, this exhibition both holds space for survivors and families. For the exhibition, new artworks by artists Jireh L. Drake, Itunuoluwa Ebijimi, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, La Keisha Leek and Bryant Cross, Zakkiyyah Najeebah, Sherwin Ovid, Ariel Perkins-Fenwick, Shelby Stone, Ethos Viets-VanLear, Rhonda Wheatley, and Avery R. Young are being created in collaboration with families of Rekia Boyd, Dakota Bright, Dominique “Damo” Franklin Jr., Justus Howell, Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson, Flint Farmer, Darius Pinex, and Stephon Watts.
See more at: Gallery 400
Monday, March 21st marked four years since Detective Dante Servin killed Rekia Boyd in North Lawndale.
On the occasion of the 4th anniversary of Rekia’s death, Project Nia offers this short video which is a collaboration with filmmaker Tom Callahan. The video illustrates some of the recent organizing and struggle to achieve some #Justice4Rekia. Project Nia offers this documentation of ongoing struggle to Rekia’s family, friends and community with love and gratitude for their efforts which uplift and inspire us.
We continue to demand #Justice4Rekia. We'll continue to #SayHerName.
Join The #LetUsBreathe Collective at Freedom Square - a community block party and occupation to imagine a world without police. The Freedom Square block party continues the momentum of the “Black Lives Matter In Lawndale” march and civil disobedience at CPD’s Homan Square on Wednesday, 7/20. Show up and show love in North Lawndale - enjoy FREE food, FREE books, music, and political education from local resource providers.
In addition to serving the community, Freedom Square is a call to action. The occupation of the space will remain until the family of Pierre Loury is given the official police report from CPD. The occupation of the space will remain until Alderman Ed Burke and other councilmen on the City’sPublic Safety Committee immediately recall a proposed ordinance that would make protesting police violence a hate crime, commonly known as “Blue Lives Matter”. The Collective also gathers in support of the newly introduced ordinance for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC)! We are honoring the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s legacy and resistance living North Lawndale. Freedom Square continues the struggle for fair housing, employment as well as end to police brutality and all forms of structural racism in the city of chicago and throughout black communities nationwide.
Come with tents, sleeping bags, food to throw on the grill, poems to perform, or resources to connect with North Lawndale residents! Strong communities don't need police, so as we oppose expanded investment and protection for police, join us building a beloved community that doesn't need them.
Infinite love to the Let Us Breathe Collective for making this space possible.
Video of Sandra Bland's mom addressing the Chicago Police Board at the January 21st meeting.
Directed by Mariame Kaba
Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black peoples’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.
Black Lives Matter Chicago, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and Trinity United Church of Christ calls upon all the various strands of the peoples movement to come out and join us in protest of the cold blooded, brutal murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We will rally Monday, July 11, 2016 in Federal Plaza (Dearborn and Adams) at 4:30pm and march in the streets. We are protesting in solidarity with the families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and everyone who is calling for justice and demanding systemic changes. We are demanding that President Obama, pursuant to the laws of the land, order the arrest and federal prosecution of the police criminals who murdered Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. We demand justice and we want it now!
Also here in Chicago we are struggling for systemic changes in that we are campaigning for an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (#CPACNOW) which we say is the only pathway to community control of the police. Join us Monday at 4:30pm in the Federal Plaza located at Dearborn and Adams.
The daughters of Bettie Jones call for the firing of Officer Robert Rialmo for killing their mom the day after Christmas, at the monthly police board hearing on February 19, 2016.
On July 24, 2016, Black Lives Matter Chicago will host an event called Ronnie Man Day, after the late Ronald "Ronnie Man" Johnson who was killed by Detective George Hernandez on October 12, 2014. This event will be held at Washington Park on 53rd and King Drive, where the murder took place. On this day, we will rename the park to "Ronald Johnson" park, celebrate the young life of Ronnie Man, honor his family and all impacted by police violence as well as honor the 2,500 young people who have been victims of gun violence between 2007 and 2014. Ronnie Man Day will intentionally draw together the families and community members who have been impacted by both state violence as well as intracommunal violence in order to honor the humanity of all who have been taken too soon and stand in unity under the demand to end all violence.
Read HERE about how Chicago labor organizations have come together to demand the immediate firing of Dante Servin.
We do this for Rekia!