Many in Chicago are still ripe with frustration after city officials released footage of Laquan McDonald’s 2014 murder. The gruesome six minute video details the fatal encounter between officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, as he shoots 17-year-old McDonald 16 times.
And while Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy asked for calm during a press conference Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chicago artist and protester Mobo said the demonstrations were peaceful until the wrongful arrest of Malcolm London, a prominent activist and leader in the city.
“He’s backed Chicago so many times, it was just heartbreaking to see what happened to him last night,” the 21-year-old rapper said. “He was definitely framed and snatched in front of everyone last night and there are so many witnesses, it’s just ridiculous.”
Mobo surmises London’s arrest happened because he declined to meet with the mayor regarding the newly released dash cam video. The Chicago artist, who Jay Z has brought on stag to perform at his sold-out Magna Carta Holy Grail concert, said someone working with the Chicago Police Department tried to disturb the crowd.
“It seems as though [London] was targeted. A white man with a mask threw a smoke bomb last night into the crowd to try and distract the crowd, but when no one moved, everyone just kind of took a step back to see what it was. We face gunshots everyday, no one is afraid of smoke bombs, so when it didn’t really work, they snatched Malcolm anyway.”
After London was taken, Mobo said demonstrators surrounded the police car trying to prevent him from being taken away, which is when things became violent.
“Police were hitting women, last night, grabbing women by the hair, dragging them, throwing bikes. It was very, very violent,” Mobo said.
According to reports, 22-year-old London was charged with a felony of aggravated battery after he allegedly punched a police officer, and is scheduled to appear in bond court today. Mobo says seeing London, who won 2011’s the Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry slam, be taken by police struck multiple blows amongst protesters.
“So it’s like, not only do you shoot this kid 16 times, and you have no remorse for us as a community, but when we’re trying to protest and get our point across and then you take one of our most powerful leaders.”
Wednesday (Nov. 25) #FreeMalcolmLondon began to trend on Twitter, with many supporters demanding his release.
I’m on a plane rn but I’m sending every ounce of love & support to Malcolm & community showing up to bond court today. #FreeMalcolmLondon
— Janae E. Bonsu (@JEBonsu) November 25, 2015
If you are a country that arrest artists who speak truth and disrupt the status quo, is that not tyrannical? #FreeMalcolmLondon
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) November 25, 2015
Mobo, a lifelong resident of Chicago hopes constructive dialogue can come from Laquan McDonald’s murder and that London’s charged are dropped.
“We see situations like Laquan play out all the time, and time and time again and it’s like, you can protest all you want but at the end of the day, protesting is only going to do so much… and as far as Malcolm we all definitely want to see him freed and those charges dropped because they’re bogus and it’s completely unfair.”
Charges have been dropped against leading activist Malcolm London, who was wrongfully arrested and charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, the Chicago Tribune reports. The happening occurred Tuesday night (Nov. 24) in Chicago during a peaceful protest. The pivotal march was held following the release of footage which detailed the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald at the hands of officer Jason Van Dyke.