Politicians, community leaders and key activists joined a Black Friday protest along Michigan Avenue to call for reform in the wake of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald's fatal shooting. Many of them said they see this as a defining moment for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's leadership.
Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia, who forced Emanuel into the first-ever mayoral runoff, thinks there would have been a different outcome for that election had the video of Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times been released sooner.
"We talked about the need for openness and transparency," Garcia said, "and having honest conversations about how we change the grim reality that we live in Chicago, where there's too much violence."
Father Michael Pfleger, one of the leading voices for the Michigan Avenue protest, also urged change.
"Economics is what this country listens to," Pfleger said. "The only thing they listen to is what affects them economically and moneywise."
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she joined the call to fire Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
"I called the mayor this morning to tell him that I was going to join my former colleagues in the City Council and call for the resignation of Garry McCarthy as well," Preckwinkle said.
"Who held up the tape for 13 months?" Rev. Jesse Jackson asked.
In response, McCarthy said, "I've never quit anything in my life."
"I'm 56 years old," he said. "I don't expect that to change. What I will tell you is the mayor has made it very clear, he has my back."
Anger also has been directed toward Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. One of her opponents in the state's attorney primary election marched in Friday's protest.
"I'm a former state and federal prosecutor," candidate Donna More said, "and I can tell you most murders that come through that office are indicted in 24 hours."
Tensions remain high, and many at the protest promised this won't be their last stand.
"We are going to continue this protest until McCarthy is gone, until we get wholesale change in the police department," Commissioner Richard Boykin said.