White man who illegally open carried rifle at protest allowed to walk away by police

'This is what had people out in the streets in the first place'

Graig Graziosi
Monday 01 June 2020 21:38
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A white man in Chicago armed with a customised AR-15 and decked out in tactical gear showed up to a protest on Sunday and was peacefully turned away by police, despite flagrantly breaking the state's open carry law.

On the sixth day of protests over the killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, an armed white man attended a protest and was eventually asked to leave by the Chicago Police Department.

A user on Twitter who posted a video of the man being ejected from the protest claimed the individual was pointing his gun - what appears to be a modified AR-15 - in the faces of protesters.

In the video, the man - who is wearing a body armour plate carrier and has a pistol strapped to his left leg - is seen talking to police before being sent away as protesters on both sides of the street yell at him.

Illinois law prohibits the open carrying of a firearm. Despite the man in the video having two visibly displayed weapons, the police do nothing to stop him.

"This white man had a gun to me and my friends' face. He was not w/ the police he was just out here instigating. If he had been black he would have been thrown to the ground arrested and beaten. But he was peacefully [turned] away. Because he's white," Twitter user @taygang98 wrote in a tweet accompanying the video.

Chicago 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez pointed out that the double standard shown by the Chicago police was exactly what spurred the protests in the first place.

"This was in HYDE PARK. You're telling me this guy isn't a cop and he's allowed to just walk freely while armed like this while we have teenagers getting beat with batons," he wrote in a Twitter post. "THIS is what had people out in the streets in the first place!?"

Many users compared the incident to that of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed by Cleveland police while he was playing with a toy gun. Others pointed to the scene as the "epitome of white privilege."

According to Crain's Chicago, approximately 2,000 people connected to the protest were arrested in the city over the weekend.

Chicago PD Superintendent David Brown said that of those arrested, nearly 700 people have been charged with crimes, mostly for looting.

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