CHICAGO (WGN-TV) – Tempers were high as protesters faced off in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood Sunday near the site of a fatal police-involved shooting Saturday evening, with one side calling for justice, and the other side saying they’re standing up for police.
Around 3 p.m., about 10 people from the Black Lives Matter movement showed up at 111th and Kedzie in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood to protest the fatal shooting of Joshua Beal by an off-duty police officer Saturday.
In response, about 200-300 people from the neighborhood, where a large population of police officers and fire fighters live, gathered in response to the protest. The Black Lives Matter protesters stood on one side of the street, while the Blue Lives matter supporters shouted at them from the other side. In between them, a large contingent of officers on bikes and on foot tried to separate the groups and keep things as civil as possible.
But there were several racial slurs shouted, as Mount Greenwood residents told the other protesters to get out of their neighborhood.
At issue, the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Joshua Beal by an off-duty officer around 3 p.m. Saturday.
Chicago police say an altercation took place between a group that was leaving a funeral---and an off duty firefighter.
Police say the car Beal was riding in was illegally blocking a fire lane and an off duty Chicago firefighter told them to move. Soon after a fight broke out. Chicago police say an off-duty police officer--who was in a barber shop--saw the fight and came out to intervene.
Then, police say another off-duty officer, a sergeant who was on his way to work, pulled over, and saw Beal holding a gun. According to police, as the situation escalated, Beal didn't drop the weapon, and shots were fired.
Family members gave a different account of what happened Saturday night, saying the situation started over a road rage altercation with the firefighter, who they say cut them off. They say Beal did have a gun, but has a conceal and carry permit, and that he did not point the gun at officers.
“Today we're here to stand up against Mt. Greenwood and stand up for our black brother Joshua Beal who was killed yesterday they lynched this man right here in Mt. Greenwood,” said activist Ja'Mal Green.
A counter protester, who would not give their name, said: “Police have the right to defend themselves like everyone else.”
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating this use of force case, and the officers involved are on a 30-day administrative leave period during the course of the investigation.