CHICAGO — The life of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old shot and killed by a Chicago Police officer in 2014, will be celebrated during a two-day event.
Laquan Day 2017 will start 7 p.m. Thursday with a community rally in McDonald's honor outside Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., according to a Facebook event.
The memorial event will continue with a town hall discussion 7 p.m. Friday at Progressive Baptist Church, 3658 S. Wentworth Ave. That day will also mark the three-year anniversary of McDonald's death.
The events are being organized in part by Will Calloway, the activist who pushed for the release of a video showing McDonald's death. The video, which shows an officer shooting McDonald 16 times, was released by the city in November 2015, leading to protests throughout Chicago.
Activists organized a similar event last year, bringing together more than 100 people to rally and honor McDonald's memory. At that event, they said they hope to make every Oct. 20 "Laquan Day" and celebrate it by rallying for change and remembering the teenager.
Police union officials initially said McDonald lunged at officers with a knife. The video shows McDonald holding a knife while walking down the middle of the street. The video shows him walking by an officer, later identified as Van Dyke, when the officer shoots him.
The officer who shot McDonald, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with murder when the video was released to the public.
Last year, activists told Laquan Day attendees that the video showed the injustice suffered by black Chicagoans.
"We're here to honor Laquan McDonald," Pastor Kevin Jones told the crowd during the first Laquan Day. "We're also here to say, this is our city and we ain't giving it back."
Other people killed by Chicago Police officers will be honored during this year's celebrations, according to an event flier.