Chicago Cop Kills Joshua Beal During His Cousin’s Funeral Procession
Revolution Club Stands with Family vs Police and Racist Mob
November 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From the Revolution Club, Chicago:
Joshua Beal (Photo: courtesy of his family)
November 5—Twenty-five-year-old Joshua Beal was in town from Indianapolis to serve as a pallbearer at his cousin’s funeral. Joshua was brutally murdered by a Chicago police officer while in a funeral procession. His aunt described him to us: “He [Joshua] just graduated from college, Ivy Tech College in Indianapolis. He was so happy in the graduation. And he was a father of two. Two young boys. He was a dedicated father.”
The funeral procession was driving through the overwhelmingly white Mt. Greenwood neighborhood on the far southwest side of Chicago around 3 pm on a sunny afternoon. This area is a notoriously racist enclave, home to many cops and firefighters. According to witnesses, an off-duty cop in plainclothes tried to force the car Joshua Beal was riding in off the road. Other members of the funeral procession got out of their cars out of concern about the situation. The off-duty cop threatened Joshua's 17-year-old cousin with a gun in her face. A bystander video shows this off-duty cop in street clothes wildly threatening people with a gun, including women dressed for a funeral.
Then, according to various accounts, a uniformed Chicago police sergeant driving by on his way to work jumped out of his car and soon afterwards emptied his gun into Joshua. Over 13 shots rang out.
When we heard about this outrage, the Revolution Club went to the scene, arriving in the early evening. We found members of Joshua’s family sitting in a Mt. Greenwood Burger King—unable to leave because police had surrounded their cars as part of the “crime scene.” A Club member explained to the family members who we were, and we began talking with them. Already grieving for the loss of one loved one who had been buried that day, this family was now dealing with the murder of another—shot down in front of their eyes by Chicago police.
At the Burger King after the police murder of Joshua Beal (Photos: Special to revcom.us)
The family members told us stories of being taunted by racists in Mt. Greenwood. They had been called “n****rs” and “monkeys” and were told to “go back to the ‘hood” by white people shouting from their cars as they drove by.
The Revolution Club brought a Stolen Lives banner into the BK and unfurled it. Many family members gasped, as they looked at the faces of so many others murdered by police. At this point, the Burger King manager announced that the family would have to leave the restaurant. This callous racism was called out by the grieving family members and people from the Club. “This is not Mississippi in 1960. This is 2016.” “They are afraid of too many Black people in this place.” Everyone stood firm, saying, “We paid for food and we aren’t leaving.”
The manager called in the police. The police arrived in force, further crowding the Burger King. They ordered everyone to leave, announcing that the BK was closing its doors early. People were forced outside into the dark and the cold without coats or sweaters.
Outside the BK, protestors from the Black Lives Matter movement began to arrive to support the family. Significantly, two white youth from Mt. Greenwood also joined the group in solidarity with the family. These white youth described the hard-core racism of the neighborhood.
As we were gathering outside, an angry white youth walked up to the Burger King wearing an American flag bandana and a “Blue Lives Matter” t-shirt and carrying a baseball bat. He was led away by police but apparently not arrested, even though he was clearly looking to commit a racist assault. This was in sharp contrast to the fact that some family members in the funeral procession had been arrested by the police. As of early the morning after, Joshua's brother was still in custody, charged with aggravated assault on a cop—AFTER HIS BROTHER WAS MURDERED DURING A FUNERAL PROCESSION!!!
Video taken by a bystander shows off-duty cop waving a gun, shortly before Joshua Beal was killed by another Chicago cop.
Across the street from the BK, a racist mob began to gather. White people with baseball bats out their windows drove by. “N*****rs,” a white man shouted. A group of white people gathered on the same side of the street as the family. Thinking they might be press, someone from the Revolution Club went over. They turned out to be off duty-cops and their friends. They began shouting and chanting, “CPD! CPD!” Drivers going by shouted out, “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
One of Joshua's family members, stunned to see this, talked about how her mother had told her of scenes like this but that in her four decades in Chicago, she had never confronted a racist mob like this. One Club member commented, “This is what the day after the election could look like.” It was really ugly.
The Revolution Club got on a bullhorn and denounced the brutal murder and racist actions and called for people to get organized for an actual revolution, calling on people to come and stand with the family and oppose the outrageous police murder and the racists in Mt. Greenwood. A crowd of people who had been commemorating the birthday of Rekia Boyd—a 22-year-old Black woman murdered by police in 2012—came from the West Side to stand in support of Joshua's family.
Read the entire HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution HERE
In the course of all this, Club members distributed copies of the statement from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, “HOW WE CAN WIN,” and our new flier “Stop Killing Each Other. Start Fighting the Real Enemy. Get Into the Revolution,” and we talked with people about how we were recruiting people into the revolution. A white youth from Mt. Greenwood told us he had been looking for people who were into revolution and made plans to connect up with the Club. We walked through the points in “HOW WE CAN WIN” about what a revolutionary situation is and how we can defeat them with this youth and several family members. One family member from Milwaukee remembered how the chief of police of Milwaukee had accused the Revcoms of leading the rebellion against police murder in that city this summer.
It was chilling how connected many of the people there were to others who have been murdered by the police. One young man was a friend of Sylville Smith, who the police murdered in Milwaukee in August. Several family members were related to Rekia Boyd, and another was close friends with the father of Paul O’Neal, killed in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood last summer. We learned this as people looked at our Stolen Lives banner and talked about the people they knew on it who had been killed by the police.
After an hour-long standoff and six hours after Joshua was murdered, police allowed Joshua’s family to return to their cars and leave the area. The Revolution Club is joining the protests called for Mt. Greenwood for Sunday, November 6. Stay tuned.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.