Chicago was calm on Wednesday, a day after the release of a graphic video showing the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white policeman charged with murder, a peaceful response compared with outbursts of violence in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over other deaths at the hands of police.
Authorities in the city of 2.7 million people had braced for violence, but peaceful demonstrations so far have led to just five arrests with more protests planned for later on Wednesday, one at the Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday and another on Friday.
Protests Wednesday at Chicago City Hall and the criminal courthouse were sparsely attended, and a protest of between 100 and 200 people in downtown Chicago at rush hour drew stares from shoppers. Some of the protesters chanted “indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell.”
A national debate on race and police tactics has lead to protests and sometimes violence in major cities following the deaths of mostly unarmed black men at the hands of police officers across the United States. The killings, some of which were captured on video, were a factor in the rise of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement and an issue in the November 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Prosecutors announced first-degree murder charges on Tuesday against officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, in the Oct. 20, 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times and started shooting just six seconds after emerging…