Chicago: Police Murder of Raason Shaw and the Anger in the Streets

April 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

About 9 in the morning on Saturday, March 29, police chased down and shot 20-year-old Raason Shaw on the south side of Chicago. Raason was shot between six and eight times in the back and killed.

Raason Shaw

Immediately, people started coming out to hear about and protest the outrageous shooting—Raason's neighbors, his friends, and (as his aunt describes it) “his boys from other blocks.” People who saw the incident immediately let people know about the injustice of it and people in the neighborhood confronted the police. TV news footage showed angry people in the streets.

The revolutionaries had planned on going out in a different part of town with a sound truck playing BA's New Year's message as part of the March BA Everywhere focus weekend, but when we learned about this murder we went down to the neighborhood where this shooting took place.

Youth had built a memorial on the fence of Raason's aunt's house near where he was shot. We played the New Year's statement there and people were very appreciative that we had come by. We had two big posters of BAsics 1:13—“No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over...” People encouraged us to add it to the memorial and neighbor women asked to hang the second poster on the fence in front of their house.

One young man saw the picture of BAsics on the bottom of the poster and asked, “Is that your book?” We told him it was BAsics, from BA, the leader of the revolution. He said he had read it when he was locked up in prison “downstate.”

Raason Shaw - memorial in Chicago

Memorial for Raason Shaw, Chicago. Photo: Marcus Robinson

Raason's aunt told us how Raason and she used to play—he would ride by on his bike shouting friendly insults and she would chase him down the street, catching him and pounding him in fun. Raason's cousins told us that this was Raason's way—he teased everyone—that was the way he showed he cared about people.

Raason's aunt was very clear—“He was a bad kid and he was a good kid—he was a human being.” She made a point that she wasn't going to sugarcoat anything. He was a human being and he didn't deserve to be murdered.

Raason's aunt also told us she wanted this in anything we wrote—that while she is out here for Raason it is not JUST for Raason but really for everybody. That includes Black and white and Latin and people suffering around the world.

On Monday, March 31, there was a protest for justice for Raason Shaw in the neighborhood. The youth really turned out for this protest. It was hard to get a full count of people because people were coming in and out but it was from one to two hundred people. They marched up and down the main street of the neighborhood, at one point taking up the whole street.

Cars with youth came through honking. A bus followed behind the protest respectfully, not pushing to get through. Along with people's righteous anger there was a certain joyousness to be standing up.

Raason Shaw - marching in the street to protest his murder by police.  Photo: Marcus Robinson

Marching in the street to protest the murder of Raason Shaw by police.
Photo: Marcus Robinson



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