Hours after an off-duty Chicago police officer shot and killed a young black man, Blue Lives Matter protesters clashed with Black Lives Matter activists near the scene of the shooting, DNAinfo Chicago reports.
According to the report, after the shooting, Black Lives Matter activists went to check on the family of the man who was killed, 25-year-old Joshua Beal. There, they were confronted by a group of people holding a “Blue Lives Matter” flag and yelling at them to “get out,” the news site reports.
“There was no protest,” activist Kofi Ademola, who was with the group, told the site. “We were there to check on the family to make sure they were safe. Next thing we knew, we were surrounded by a bunch of angry white people. Nobody said anything to them.”
DNAinfo reports that in video posted by Ademola’s group, a man says if you don’t support the police, you’re criminal, while another shouts at the group to get out of the neighborhood.
“A young white guy [walked] up with a baseball bat,” Ademola said. “The police took the baseball bat from him. White people are driving by and yelling at us, ‘[N–gers] go home! Get the [f–k] out of here! Blue Lives Matter.’ More of them got out of the car and chanted, ‘CPD! Blue Lives Matter.’”
Police did not engage either group, although they attempted to keep the situation peaceful, according to the news site.
Beal, an Indianapolis father of two, was in Chicago for his cousin’s funeral when he was shot and killed Saturday afternoon.
Police say the shooting occurred after a vehicle leaving funeral services at a nearby cemetery stopped in traffic in front of a Chicago firehouse. An off-duty firefighter told the driver of the vehicle that it was blocking the fire lane, at which point the occupants of the vehicle exited and some type of verbal or physical altercation ensued, police say.
According to police, a police sergeant driving on his way to work saw the altercation and says he saw a man with a gun and stopped to assist.
“As the incident continued to escalate and the offender failed to drop his weapon, shots were fired striking the individual multiple times,” the police said in a statement.
Beal’s family tell a different version of events, with Beal’s mother, Tiffaney Boxley, saying that the police “gunned down my baby like a vicious animal.”
The family said the incident started when an off-duty officer cut off members of the funeral procession in traffic, adding that Beal had a license to carry a gun.
“The police are going to pay for this,” Miranda Macklin, a family member, told the Chicago Tribune. “Justice will be served.”