STREETERVILLE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday condemned what he called "racially tinged" language used during an activists' rally in Mount Greenwood following the death of a black man shot there this weekend by an off-duty police officer.
Emanuel said there's "no place in the city" for the insults and slurs that were part of a confrontation Sunday between police supporters and Black Lives Matter activists following the death of Joshua Beal.
Beal, 25, was shot and killed by an off-duty officer near 111th Street and Troy Avenue following a funeral Saturday on the South Side. Police said Beal pointed a gun at the officer but family members are questioning the police account.
The Sunday event drew dozens of people from both sides, with one Black Lives Matter activist saying that white people yelled "N----- go home!" and "Get the f--- out of here! Blue Lives Matter."
Asked about the incident by reporters Monday at an unrelated event in Streeterville, Emanuel said, "My view is people want to express themselves, express themselves — but do it in a way that respects our differences instead of driving a wedge" between different groups of people.
At the Sunday incident, police had to intervene a few times. Many of the black activists were escorted by police to their cars, though counter-protesters still followed.
After Beal had just left the funeral service Saturday, he was stopped in traffic near a firehouse in the 3100 block of West 111th Street. An off-duty firefighter told Beal he was blocking a fire lane before Beal got out of his car and a fight broke out, police said.
A police sergeant on his way to work saw the fight and a man with a gun and fired shots, police said.
"The sergeant stopped, exited his vehicle, displayed his weapon and announced his office," the statement said. "As the incident continued to escalate, and the offender failed to drop his weapon, shots were fired striking the individual multiple times."
The shooting was the latest in recent high-profile police shootings in Chicago. Emanuel said Monday that his message has been consistent following the fallout in the neighborhoods every time, saying there's a way to "make your feelings known" without "demonizing" anyone.
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