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Laquan McDonald Shooting: Protesters Disrupt Black Friday Shopping in Downtown Chicago

Organizers are hoping to disrupt Black Friday shopping in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile to protest systemic problems in the city police department.
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Protesters clogged Chicago's downtown shopping district and tried to block store entrances on a soggy Black Friday, calling on police officials to step down after the shooting of a black teenager by a white officer.

"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!" chanted a wave of marchers, which included the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The demonstration kicked off around 11 a.m. CT (noon ET), as the crowd carried umbrellas and plastic-wrapped signs along the high-end Magnificent Mile, which on a typical post-Thanksgiving Friday would be mobbed with shoppers.

Related: Protesters Block Chicago Streets Over Video of Laquan McDonald's Killing

Some of the hundreds of demonstrators tried to block entrances of stores, while police formed human barriers in front of other locations, according to NBC Chicago.

“Find a door! Shut it down!” protesters shouted.

The disruption was in response to this week's release of dashcam footage of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, as he was shot by police 16 times in October 2014. Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, turned himself in Tuesday and was ordered held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder.

At some stores along Michigan Avenue, employees were directing shoppers to exit from side doors. When one person tried to get through the front door of Saks Fifth Avenue, protesters screamed at him, shouting, "Shut it down! Shut it down."

Entrances were also blocked at the Disney Store, the Apple Store, Nike, Tiffany & Co., and Neiman Marcus.

By 3:30 p.m., Michigan Avenue had re-opened to traffic, and commercial activity appeared to have resumed. Police made three arrests during the protests. Two were arrested for disrupting traffic and one on a battery charge, police said.

Chicago resident Frank Chapman told The Associated Press that the video of McDonald's shooting confirms what activists have said for years about Chicago police brutality.

He said his organization, the Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Oppression, is pushing for an elected, civilian police accountability council.

Pastor Corey Brooks, of the New Beginnings Church of Chicago, told MSNBC that the marchers were peaceful and there was no rioting and looting taking place.

"The main thing is we would love to have an independent prosecutor — independent of our state's attorney — to find out how (charges) took 400 days to come to fruition," Brooks said.

The Rev. Jackson, one of the organizers of the event, asked protesters to recognize a broader significance in the day's demand for justice.

"It's not enough to focus on what brought us here today, the execution of this young man (McDonald)," Jackson said, according to NBC Chicago. "That takes the scab off a deeper sore, a deeper cancer. So we want mass demonstrations, mass voter registration."

At an earlier news conference unrelated to Friday's demonstration, Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy said his officers showed professionalism during another protest Tuesday night. Activists and church leaders have demanded McCarthy resign over the perceived delay in charging Van Dyke in McDonald's death.

"People (were) screaming at their faces … in some cases, throwing objects, clearly assaulting a police officer," McCarthy said, adding that while officers won't actively shut down the latest protest, "we’re not going to allow criminal behavior. We’re not going to let windows get broken. We’re not going to let places get looted."