Protesters against police violence hit Chicago shopping district

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Protesters Marched in Chicago Against Police Killings of Black Men
Several hundred protesters against police killings of black men marched on Thursday along Chicago's Michigan Avenue, calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down and aiming to disrupt Christmas Eve shopping in a glittering, upscale commercial area.

The march, which began at midday, was peaceful and police blocked traffic for the demonstration as protesters stopped and lay down in the street every block or so. Shoppers and passers-by took the protest in stride, and stopped to take photos.

SEE ALSO: A person with firearm fatally shot by police at North Carolina mall

Demonstrators chanted "Sixteen shots and a cover-up," protesting the year-long delay in bringing murder charges against police officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald in October 2014 as the black teenager walked away from police, according to footage of the incident.

"Rahm is arrogant enough to not resign. So we're going to continue to put pressure on the business community and allow them to force him to resign," said protester Brother Hall, 64, of the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville.

Police killings, especially of black people, have sparked protests in some U.S. cities over the last year and a half. Black Lives Matter, a loosely organized movement involved in many protests over race and policing issues, is calling holiday demonstrations "Black Christmas."

On Wednesday, Black Lives Matter demonstrators blocked roadways to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and blocked southbound traffic on the 101 freeway near the San Francisco International Airport. Some protesters were arrested.

See Chicago demonstrators protesting the shooting of Laquan McDonald:
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Protesters against police violence hit Chicago shopping district
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: U.S. Representative Bobby Rush and Reverend Jesse Jackson link arms as they march with demonstrators protesting the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Police officers block the entrance of Water Tower Place mall as demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27 : Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Demonstrators protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald along the Magnificent Mile November 27, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times last year on the southwest side of Chicago after Van Dyke was responding to a call of a knife wielding man. The dash-cam video of officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald was released by the Chicago Police department earlier this week after a judge denied Van Dyke bail during his bond hearing at Leighton Criminal Court. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Chicago protests. #laquanmcdonald https://t.co/tsqa1W9GXb
Live blog: Michigan Ave. stores lock doors during Black Friday protests https://t.co/vdWRSyKHTF #LaquanMcDonald https://t.co/zqp5h1nZ84
#LaquanMcdonald protest gearing up on the Mag Mile https://t.co/mqunlw012H
Rolling coverage of #LaquanMcDonald #BlackFriday protest here https://t.co/pwqrFPhBdo https://t.co/aTzcFD9lQ1
Blocking store doors on Michigan Ave. #LaquanMcDonald https://t.co/g3gjD5TX7V
"13 months, 16 shots!" #LaquanMcDonald #BlackoutBlackFriday https://t.co/tCEIGVJUHK
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
A crowd descended on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, aiming to disrupt Black Friday in protest of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
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Chicago has seen a steady stream of protests since late November, when the city released the video of Van Dyke, who is white, shooting McDonald, aged 17.

Van Dyke, 37, has been charged with murder and is out on bail pending formal arraignment Dec. 29.

Shoppers and tourists took Thursday's protest in their stride.

"I think it's a good reminder, especially on Christmas Eve, that it's not all about gifts and the commercialization of Christmas," said Barbara Hutchinson, 64, from St. Louis.

See the number of people killed by police in each state:
Police frequently use lethal force in Chicago, killing an average of 17 people a year over the past seven years. More than 70 percent of people shot by police in Chicago from 2007-2014 were black. The city's population is about one-third African American. Van Dyke is the first officer charged with a crime in an on-duty death in 30 years.

Emanuel, on holiday in Cuba, has said he will not step down, but he did bow to protesters and fired police chief Garry McCarthy and agreed to a review of police practices by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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