Violent protests in Chicago after man shot dead by police

Protesters marching in Chicago after a man was shot by police, on July 14, 2018.
Protesters marching in Chicago after a man was shot by police, on July 14, 2018.PHOTO: LEGAL HELP FIRM VIA REUTERS

CHICAGO (REUTERS) - A violent clash broke out late on Saturday (July 14) in Chicago's predominately black South Side neighbourhood after police shot and killed a man whom they suspected was carrying a firearm.

A crowd of about 150 residents shouted "murderers" and obscenities, local media reports said.

They tossed rocks, bottles and jumped on police cars as the protest escalated near the crime scene in the 2000 block of 71st Street.

Officers armed with batons squared off with the protesters, with punches thrown on both sides, multiple media accounts said and videos posted on Twitter show.

Officials said three or four officers suffered minor injuries and one patrol car was damaged. Four protesters were arrested.

Few details of the shooting were available other than a police statement which said that at about 5.30pm, foot patrol officers saw a man "exhibiting the characteristics of an armed person".

Fred Walker, patrol chief of the Chicago police, told the New York Times and other media, that officers saw a bulge in his trousers that they believed to be a gun.

When they approached the man, "He started flailing and swinging away, trying to make an escape" and "reached for the gun".

The official statement from the Chicago police said "an armed confrontation ensued, resulting in an officer discharging his weapon and fatally striking the offender", adding that they recovered a "gun and two ammunition magazines" at the scene.

A crowd gathered after the shooting and rumours that the man was unarmed incited the crowd, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune.

There has been a string of US police killings of black men that have sparked nationwide protests, but the name, age and race of the man shot were not released by the police early on Sunday.

The protest ended about 10.30pm and the officer involved will be placed on desk duty while the incident is investigated, officials said.