During the last couple of weeks, the proud city of Chicago has undergone some very tumultuous events. Recently a large fire erupted in one of Chicago's tallest skyscrapers. However, that is not the biggest #News of late. Jason Van Dyke, who is a police offer for this city, was recently arrested for his actions over a year ago when his dashcam video revealed that he had shot an unarmed black teen sixteen times.
Controversy has erupted for a number of reasons, including the fact that police officers are normally trained not to shoot to kill, but to shoot to stop. Problems have also ensued over the fact that the suspect was unarmed. One of the main issues that have led people to protest would be the fact that the district attorney took 13 months to bring an indictment in the matter.
Racial tensions have always been an issue, as can be seen with the group Anonymous and their posting of noted KKK followers last month. In the case of this Chicago shooting, many events have taken place. Several arrests have been made, including NAACP president Cornell Williams Brooks and others. However, something has been noticeably different about this latest round of protests, and there are a number of things that we can learn from these events, including the following:
1.People can protest peacefully
The African-American community has every right to not only be upset about these events, but to protest these events. They have done so, and they have done it peacefully as well. They have engaged in marches, they have established sit-ins, and they have voiced their opinions over what needs to be done in order to prevent another tragedy like this from happening in the future. Although a few arrests have been made, the protests have largely been peaceful. The actions of the Chicago protesters most closely match the ideals of Martin Luther King and his non-violent means of getting the Jim Crow laws repealed in the 1950's and 60's.
2. Black lives do matter
This incident is perhaps the most stark example, that yes, black lives do matter. The African-American race has underwent a lot of struggles during the centuries that they have been on this continent, and they have worked tirelessly to uphold the dignity that they possess. Individuals such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Jesse Jackson all have served as advocates for the life story of black people. Although it was unfortunate that an indictment took so long to come about, justice finally prevailed. A police officer who shoots an unarmed black teenager 16 times is not shooting to stop, he is shooting to kill.
3. Police officers must be held accountable too
The Chicago police force is just like any other. They have a sworn duty to serve and to protect, and this includes people that they arrest and detain as well. The fact that police officers are trained not to shoot to kill, but to shoot to stop should weigh heavily on the prosecutors and other officials involved with this case. The fact of the matter is, contrary to popular opinion most police officers can easily go an entire career without ever having to fire their weapon in an on-duty situation. In short, Officer Van Dyke has some serious explaining to do.