Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 19, 2024
Chicago Protests Erupt Calling for Accountability in Dexter Reed Shooting by PoliceSource: Chicago Police Department

The outcry for justice in Chicago's streets rings out in the aftermath of Dexter Reed's death, as protestors gathered outside the Chicago Police Board demanding accountability and change. Chicago saw citizens packing both inside and outside the CPD Headquarters to voice their despair and anger over the fatal shooting of Reed by police officers during a traffic stop last month. The crowd's demand was clear — fire and prosecute the officers responsible for unleashing 96 bullets in Reed's direction, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Amidst public comments, Grace Patino from the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression demanded the termination of Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling, who observed the proceedings, and the officers involved. Patino accused the cops of executing Reed, adding, "Dexter Reed should be here today." Following the collective clamor, Miracle Boyd of Good Kids Mad City labeled Reed's demise as a product of racial profiling and detrimental to Black communities, as she stated, "We demand the tactical units be banned, and Mayor Johnson, Supt. Snelling and COPA fire the officers," according to the Sun-Times.

As per CBS Chicago, contrasting the heated demands, Snelling did not speak directly to Reed's shooting or the demands for his dismissal at the meeting. Instead, he sought to assure the public of ongoing efforts to better police-community relations, saying, "This department is training, we're working, and we're working towards developing a greater relationship with our community members, and we will continue to do that." This sentiment did not, however, quell the discontent stirred by the release of bodycam footage that captured the fatal 41 seconds in which officers fired 96 shots after Reed, stopped initially for a seat belt violation in Humboldt Park, allegedly shot a tactical officer.

Bickering between Snelling and Andrea Kersten, chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, centered on public transparency during the meeting. While Snelling criticized Kersten for discussing the case publicly prior to the completion of officer interviews, in a statement obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, Kersten argued the importance of sharing preliminary information with the public to restore trust.

The Police Board did not take any action pertaining to the disciplinary matters presented that night, which were not related to the Reed case. Yet the impact of Reed's shooting continues to resonate deeply, particularly for those who knew him as more than a headline. Melina Lesus, a teacher at Westinghouse College Prep where Reed stood out as a basketball player, shared her disbelief over the incident with the Chicago Sun-Times, saying, "He was the most respectful kid," reflecting the broader community shock and mourning over a young life cut short.