Thousands protest police shooting in Chicago

Thousands of protesters blocked traffic in Chicago`s busy commercial district during the Black Friday shopping extravaganza demanding justice for a black teen killed by a police officer.

Racial tensions have soared in the US city over the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, for which a white police officer was charged this week with first-degree murder.

Graphic footage of the October 2014 shooting has set Chicago on edge and reignited angry debate about the use of force by US law enforcement.

Protesters thronged Chicago`s "Magnificent Mile" where police and private security guarded upmarket outlets like Tiffany and Co. and the Apple Store, locking arms in front of stores to keep shoppers from entering.

They wove their way between cars and buses halted on Michigan Avenue until police closed the street to vehicles to make room for the demonstrators.

A group of Black Power activists marched with red, green and black flags chanting "You can`t see it and hide no more" while civil rights leader Jesse Jackson led a separate group in a more solemn march. 

Tensions flared in the highly-segregated Midwestern city after officials released a dashcam video this week showing officer Jason van Dyke fire 16 bullets at the teenager.

Prosecutors and city officials have been accused of trying to block the footage`s release and criticized for waiting until this week to press charges.

Several protesters held signs demanding the resignation of Chicago`s embattled police chief and chanted "16 shots 13 months" to voice anger that it took so long to charge Van Dyke. 

Protesters say the shooting illustrates deeper injustices both in Chicago and nationwide.

Many liken McDonald`s case to that of Michael Brown, the black teenager shot dead by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri last year, whose death triggered 15 months of demonstrations over perceived police brutality against black men.

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