NORTH LAWNDALE — Dozens of people gathered on a West Side street Monday afternoon to protest the shooting death of 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh, who was killed by police Sunday night, allegedly after pointing a gun at officers.
Thunder boomed overhead and blowing rain hit a blood-soaked porch in the 2800 block of West Polk Street, where McIntosh's mother, Cynthia Lane, stood outside surrounded by supporters.
"I want my baby, they killed my baby," Lane said, sobbing.
Police responded to a call of an armed men at the Polk Street address Sunday around 7:10 p.m., and when they tried to talk to McIntosh, he ran, authorities said.
Police chased him into a gangway, where he pulled a gun and pointed it toward an officer, police said. The officer fired at the man, killing him.
Police said a weapon was recovered on the scene.
But Lawndale residents, friends and family of the teen, say that they don't believe police accounts. Neighbors rallied outside the scene of the shooting Monday to let Chicago police and politicians know they are angry.
Protestors said that McIntosh had no gun and that he was already on his knees with his hands in the air when police shot him. They maintain that in McIntosh's case and many other police-involved shootings on the West Side, cops have been too quick to pull the trigger.
"They can't keep coming into our community and killing our kids," said Marcia Sloan, who helped organized Monday's demonstration. "We have to unite as a community."
Sloan said the protestors were demonstrating in solidarity with residents of Ferguson, Mo., where sometimes violent protests erupted following the Aug. 9 police-involved shooting of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.
Racial tension in Chicago fuels hostility between the predominately black community and police, said Sloan. But socio-economic factors, like the lack of resources for jobs and public schools, are equally as important.
"It's like they (the police and politicians) are at war with us," she said.
Standing on Polk in the same spot he was the day before when police arrived, Thomas Patterson, a relative of McIntosh, shared his side of the story.
"The police pulled up and jumped out. They put guns on everybody out there, (yelling) 'Get on the ground, get on the ground,'" said the 51-year-old Lawndale man. "I couldn't see what was happening in the back [of the house]. They say he had a gun, I don't think so."
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the shooting, along with another police-involved incident that left a man dead on the South Side Sunday.
So far this year, 30 people have been shot by police. Twenty-eight people were shot during the same time period last year, said IPRA spokesman Larry Merritt.
At an unrelated press conference Monday, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the number of police-involved shootings has dropped since he took over the department. McCarthy said there have been 45 cases of police officers firing their guns in 2014. That number includes every case where an officer used his or her gun, not just cases where someone was hit by an officer's bullet.
McCarthy said there were 80 cases in 2011, when he took control of the department. McCarthy said the decrease in cases reflects training and officers "exercising firearm control."
McCarthy told reporters he had yet to be briefed on both police shootings but shared some details.
"In both cases, we have firearms recovered from the scenes, and in both cases, the officers were in fear for their lives," McCarthy said Monday at the department's Austin District Station.
McCarthy said he could not comment on the shooting that killed Michael Brown in Ferguson because he did not know the details that led to the teen's death but said the police response to protests would not look the same in Chicago.
"There's a lot of lessons learned when you see incidents go bad like this," he said.
McCarthy pointed to the department's handling of the NATO summit in 2012, which he touted as "the gold standard" for how to handle large crowds.
"If you look at the images from Ferguson, it's exactly what we were trying not to accomplish [during NATO], with flashing lights and tear gas and helmets and rifles on the front line and armored cars," McCarthy said. "So as far as the tactics go, we would do it differently here."
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