For Immediate Release
Black Lives Matter - Chicago
People’s Response Team
4/14/2016 - On Monday, April 11th, 2016 at approximately 7:40 pm, Chicago Police shot and killed Pierre L. Loury, a Black 16 year-old boy from Chicago’s West side. Within two hours of the shooting, CPD’s Bureau of Detectives Chief Eugene Roy told press there had been “an armed confrontation between the offender and the officer.” However, Roy did not claim Pierre fired any shots at the officer. Shortly following Roy’s statement, Diane Patheiu of ABC7 News reported that “an officer started chasing him [Pierre]. When the suspect didn’t stop, the officer opened fire and struck the man.” An eyewitness’s account supports Ms. Patheiu’s story, saying that Pierre was shot in the air as he attempted to climb a fence. Disturbing video footage taken on a smartphone by an anonymous witness immediately following the shooting shows the scene seconds after Pierre was shot. It is clear that Pierre was running away from the police officer, face down on the ground on the other side of the fence after being shot, a strip of fabric from his pants still caught to the top of the fence.
Running from the police is not an “armed confrontation.” Killing a 16-year-old because he was fleeing unwanted police contact—contact made merely because an officer said the car he was in “fit the description”— does not warrant an execution. Black people in Chicago have every legitimate reason to fear contact with CPD, no matter their level of “guilt.” By calling this execution an “armed confrontation,” CPD immediately began to fabricate a false narrative of events. Three days later, CPD has still not named the officer who shot Pierre Loury or any other officers involved in the traffic stop or foot pursuit. Video footage from the anonymous witness does not show any police officer retrieving a weapon from the scene.
Photos pulled from Pierre’s social media accounts are now being used to justify his execution as though they are relevant to the value of his life. Mainstream media and racist, public responses are already hard at work portraying Pierre as another inherently criminal, young, Black boy who deserved the violence perpetrated upon him. When Chicago Police and the media deploy this false rhetoric of "Black-on-Black crime", they offer a false explanation of why interpersonal and intercommunal violence occurs in poor Black communities. Instead of addressing the nuanced and myriad causal factors that set the stage for intercommunal violence, this frames the conversation as one of personal choice, bad parenting, and evil individuals, and omits political, social and economic realities that create the conditions that produce crime. In addition, this framing is not based in fact. Chicago’s intracommunity violence is a result of decades of divestment in poor communities. Chicago’s poverty and crime are a result of government divestment.
“Black-on-Black crime” doesn’t explain why studies have shown that poverty highly impacts the level of violence that a particular demographic group experiences. “Black-on-Black crime” is an attempt to keep Chicagoans from questioning billions in misappropriated TIF funds, 54 school closures, six mental health clinic closures, and the de-funding of higher learning institutions that serve predominantly Black people and specifically Black women such as Chicago State University. By painting a picture that all young Black people are thugs and gang members, CPD attempts to gain public approval of its ruthless, unethical, terrorist, unconstitutional and inhumane tactics.
We reject these false, victim-blaming explanations for why a young boy like Pierre Loury deserved to be shot without any questions asked. These are the insidious, unconscionable tactics that the Chicago Police Department is using to avoid being accountable for murdering a child. Just as the 16-year-old white boy, who is being charged with robbing a bank at gunpoint in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood on Wednesday was able to be apprehended alive, 16-year-old Pierre Loury, should have been, too. We demand the names of the officers involved in the murder of Pierre L. Loury be released immediately. We demand a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) now.
No matter what kind of life Pierre Loury lived, he deserved to live it.
Rest in Power, Pierre.