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The Stories of Some of the Eighty-Nine People Killed by Chicago Police in the Past Five Years

Screen shot of We Charge Genocide’s website featuring those killed by Chicago police

The Chicago Police Department shot over three hundred people in the past five years. In that same time span, 89 people were killed, and a grassroots organization led by youth of color in Chicago is calling attention to the stories of eleven of the individuals who were killed and also one who survived.

The organization, We Charge Genocide (WCG), started in June to document human rights abuses by Chicago police. They prepared a report that would be presented to the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva as part of a periodic review process of which signatories to the Convention Against Torture (CAT) participate.

The name of the organization comes from a petition submitted by the Civil Rights Congress in 1951. The petition documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses that had been mostly committed by police.

Last week, the organization’s report to the UN was made public [PDF]. Eight organizers from WCG plan to travel to Geneva in November to urge the UN Committee to call out the Chicago Police Department for engaging in treatment that violates the Torture Convention.

As part of the organization’s effort, a multimedia website was produced to complement the report. One section on people who the Chicago police have killed in the past five years was unveiled on October 28.

CommunityThe Dissenter

The Stories of Some of the Eighty-Nine People Killed by Chicago Police in the Past Five Years

Screen shot of We Charge Genocide’s website featuring those killed by Chicago police

The Chicago Police Department shot over three hundred people in the past five years. In that same time span, 89 people were killed, and a grassroots organization led by youth of color in Chicago is calling attention to the stories of eleven of the individuals who were killed and also one who survived.

The organization, We Charge Genocide (WCG), started in June to document human rights abuses by Chicago police. They prepared a report that would be presented to the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva as part of a periodic review process of which signatories to the Convention Against Torture (CAT) participate.

The name of the organization comes from a petition submitted by the Civil Rights Congress in 1951. The petition documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses that had been mostly committed by police.

Last week, the organization’s report to the UN was made public [PDF]. Eight organizers from WCG plan to travel to Geneva in November to urge the UN Committee to call out the Chicago Police Department for engaging in treatment that violates the Torture Convention.

As part of the organization’s effort, a multimedia website was produced to complement the report. One section on people who the Chicago police have killed in the past five years was unveiled on October 28.

Two of the stories involve cases where witnesses saw the young black men raise their hands to surrender to police, but that did not stop the police from shooting them dead.

On Sunday, August 24, of this year, police responded to a call that an “armed man” was in east Garfield Park on the west side. They “jumped out of their car and pointed their guns at everyone in the vicinity, ordering them to get down.” Officers chased Roshad McIntosh, a 19-year-old father, to the back porch of his home. Witnesses say he had his hands up and even got down on his knees. But police shot him and later claimed to have recovered a gun from the scene.

His mother, Cynthia Lane, has demanded information from the police on who killed her son. Police have refused to provide her basic information on what happened.

Warren Robinson, a 16-year-old who lived in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the south side with his grandmother, was a rapper and singer. He was a part of a “young emerging hip-hop crew BOB/FOE, Family Over Everything.” Police were called to his grandmother’s home when gunshots were reported. Officers believed Robinson matched the description the caller had provided and chased him “through an alley.”

“Neighbor Keiyana Hawkins told the Chicago Tribune she went outside and saw a young man running and surrendering with his raised hands when police officers opened fire. The police shot Warren twenty times, according to his mother, Georgina Utendahl. ‘The police killed him,’ she told news media. ‘Why they killed him, I don’t know. We want answers,'” according to a WCG summary.

Three of the highlighted killings led to civil suit settlements. (more…)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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