Extrajudicial killings of Black American men by police officers is not a new phenomenon in this country, but in the wake of several such incidents back-to-back being highly publicized in recent months, the shooting of Denzel Ford, 20, by a Chicago police officer has sparked another round of protests by enraged citizens seeking justice for the third man to be killed by local law enforcement in recent weeks.
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The rally, which took place in the city’s Near West Side neighborhood, was held in direct response to officers shooting Denzel Ford, 20, while in the process of attempting to arrest him Saturday evening for alleged involvement in the selling of narcotics. Outcry over the recent shooting follows weeks of heightened national scrutiny of police shootings in the wake of the killing of unarmed Missouri teen Michael Brown.
As police tell it, officers tried to apprehend Ford as he was sitting in a car in the city’s West Town neighborhood during a narcotics investigation, the Chicago Tribune reported. Ford allegedly refused to exit the vehicle and instead drove the car into an officer, causing the officer to fall to the ground. Police say when Ford attempted to accelerate toward the officer on the ground again, another officer opened fire.
Ford was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition after he was shot multiple times in the upper body, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The officer he allegedly hit suffered minor injuries. No updates on the condition of the officer or suspect were available at publication time.
The shooting is now under investigation by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority.
“This needs to stop. This police shooting needs to stop,” said Denzel’s father, Ricky Ford. “He wasn’t armed, so why would they shoot him four times?”
As previously reported by NewsOne, two teenagers were killed recently in Chicago in separate incidents.
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Community activist, Fred Hampton, Jr. said that the Chicago Police department is the “biggest gang” in the city.