Saturday, December 26, 2015

'Black Christmas' Protester Accused of Hitting Cop is Freed on Bond
Demonstrators protest along Chicago's Magnificent Mile on Christmas Eve over the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

Sarah Freishtat
Chicago Tribune

A protester was freed on bond Friday after his arrest during a Christmas Eve march along the Magnificent Mile shopping district to protest the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

The suspect, Eugene Tucker, was charged with battery and failing to obey police. He is accused in court documents of hitting a police commander on the head.

Tucker was one of two demonstrators arrested Thursday on misdemeanor charges. The other was Anderson Chaves, 19, of Berwyn, said Officer Michelle Tannehill, a Chicago police spokeswoman.

Police News Affairs did not have court information for Chaves, who was charged with disorderly conduct, but many people charged with misdemeanors in Chicago are allowed to sign a signature bond for a set amount, given a court date and allowed to walk free from the police station where they are booked.

Tucker, 22, from the South Chicago neighborhood, was arrested after protesters blocked traffic and were ordered to disperse, according to court documents. He is accused in a police report of hitting a commander on the right side of the head with an "open-handed backhand," then trying to climb over a line of police bikes serving as a boundary for the marchers.

The protest was meant to replicate a march along Michigan Avenue that disrupted shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Thursday's "Black Christmas" protest was smaller, drawing about 100 demonstrators.

Organizers called for the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. The mayor has been criticized over the delay in releasing the police dash-cam video of McDonald's shooting, while the state's attorney has faced outrage because the white officer who killed the black 17-year-old wasn't charged for more than a year after the October 2014 shooting.

Twitter @srfreish

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