Learning from Ferguson

People Stand Up to Chicago Police Murder of 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh

Updated August 26, 2014 9 pm CST| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



August 26, 2014 9 pm CST

In the booking room in Chicago, a commander came in and told a revolutionary, "We're not going to have Ferguson out here, so we are going to put the heaviest charges we can on you so nobody thinks about doing this again."  Later another cop said, "I understand there is a certain beauty with chaos but you understand that Ferguson—we can't let that happen.”  A detective said, "What the fuck were you thinking out there stirring up the savages?"

On Sunday evening, August 24 around 7 pm, 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh was gunned down by Chicago police in front of witnesses.  According to witnesses, police rolled up on a vacant lot on the West Side where old men play cards and forced a number of young men face down on the ground.  At some point, Roshad ran and the police chased him into a gangway and shot him multiple times. 

The neighborhood residents, friends and family made it clear that they do not believe the pigs' account that Roshad had a gun at all. 

One witness said Roshad was on his knees pleading for his life when police shot him multiple times.  People on the block immediately responded angrily and called on others to come out.  Over 30 more police were brought in with paddy wagons and they pushed people away from the site of the shooting. A lot of people were video recording the police and the scene on their cell phones.

The next day, Roshad’s mother, Cynthia Lane sobbed, “I want my baby, they killed my baby.”  Roshad’s girlfriend and the mother of their child emotionally recounted how, “he surrendered for his life and they still shot him.  They are so racist.”

Revolutionaries and protesters were on the road on their way back from Ferguson, Missouri, where they had been standing with people who had risen up over the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, when they heard about another police murder of a young Black man.   Someone got a text that a young man was shot multiple times by police. People felt that they needed to go out to this scene, including some who had also personally experienced police murder of their loved ones and the lying cover up and the character assassination of the victim by the police which starts immediately at the scene.

The police almost always say the victim pointed a gun or in some other way threatened them when they shoot someone down in cold blood. In the atmosphere of Mike Brown’s murder and the people of Ferguson standing up, those returning from Ferguson to Chicago that night felt that the authorities would be scared and working overtime to suppress the truth and even the word that witnesses and people on the scene were seething.   The people coming back from Ferguson wanted to strengthen the resistance in Chicago and get out the truth to the world no matter how late at night.

When the first carload of people arrived, about 50 people were still out at the scene, most in a central group, and another 15 on a porch, and some other people supportive from a distance.  No media was there, but people were videoing with their phones.  One of the women who was returning from Ferguson agitated to the crowd about the fact that her 15-year-old nephew was murdered by the Chicago police and how people needed to stand up against this outrage like the people in Ferguson.  They began to lead the people in chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cop to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell” and they started marching up the block and people were speaking out.

The cops then pushed people away from the site of the murder and announced the people had a right to protest, but that it was 10 pm on a Sunday night and the sound system was violating noise ordinance and issued a ticket to a well-known revolutionary!  Then the police started to trap people between the line of cops and the paddy wagon and said people had to be on the grass, not on the PUBLIC sidewalk!

At that point a preacher arrived and tried to get people to disperse by telling them that the people in Ferguson were successful because leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had come to town and calmed things down!!!!  One of the women who had come directly from the Ferguson protests got right in his face and said people should not calm down, the reason why people everywhere knew about Mike Brown was because people rose up and that people had to stand up and keep fighting, not calm down.  She said the preachers in Ferguson were trying to stop the people from continuing to stand up. 

People continued to chant and a guy came out who was totally outraged at this shooting.  He was shouting right in the face of the police.  The police pushed people into the grassy area.  The revolutionary started leading the crowd in chanting, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” and six pigs jumped him, threw him into an SUV and took him to jail charged with mob action and resisting arrest.  At least three other people were arrested that night.  One man said he was proud he stood up, he said “we need to learn from Ferguson and stand up.”

After the revolutionary’s arrest two other activists who had gone to Ferguson arrived into the scene of people protesting the murder of Roshad.  At a certain point the police decided to try to defuse the situation by pulling out.  They were heard saying, “these are professional protestors."  They said to one of the revolutionaries, “you’re on your own.”  People stayed until 2:30 in the morning, others til 6 am.

Monday the protests and vigils went on all day, joined by the revolutionary who went straight there when he got out of jail on Monday afternoon.  More protests are planned including a march Wednesday at 6 pm in the area of the police murder, called so far by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network in Chicago and Tio Hardiman.  Protests and word of this police murder are being linked on social media with the on-going protests around Ferguson. 

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