Five people were arrested Tuesday night, one for allegedly punching a Chicago police officer, while hundreds marched throughout the city in a largely peaceful protest over the killing of Laquan McDonald.
Malcolm London, 22, is charged with felony aggravated battery on accusations of wielding a punch to a police officer. By 2 p.m. Wednesday, the charges against him were dropped and he was free to go.
London was one of hundreds of protestors who took to the streets after city officials released dash-cam video showing the shooting death of 17-year-old McDonald at the hands of a Chicago police officer.
Other people arrested were Dean Vanriper, 38, on three separate counts including felony possession of a controlled substance and two misdemeanor counts for unlawful use of a taser and a knife; and 25-year-old Johnae Strong, 26-year-old May Page and 24-year-old Troy Alim all on isolated accounts of resisting a police officer. It was not immediately clear if those arrested had lawyers.
Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that outside of the incidents that led to the five separate arrests, the protest was otherwise respectful.
"The Chicago Police Department supports citizens’ First Amendment rights and goes to great lengths to ensure those rights can be exercised," Guglielmi said in a statement Wednesday morning. "While on the whole last night’s demonstrations were peaceful, a few isolated incidents resulted in five arrests and assaulting [of] police officers."
Guglielmi said there was no damage to any private property throughout the protests, that began around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and lasted until the early hours of the following morning.
As the crowds grew, the chants from the marchers grew louder.
“Sixteen! Sixteen! Sixteen!” chanted as many as 500 protesters, referencing how many time McDonald was shot by officer Jason Van Dyke in the deadly confrontation caught on tape.
There were many tense moments during the protests across the city.
One man could be seen coming within inches of a Chicago police officer’s face, in a stare-down that lasted several minutes.
At another point during the nine-hour march, crowds blocked the entrance to the Eisenhower Expressway, stopping traffic.
“We are trying to make people see this is wrong,” said one female protester. “The system is wrong and things need to be changed … Everyone takes notice of what’s happening in the world.”
NBC 5’s cameras captured at least three people put into handcuffs throughout the night.
Many of the people who protested Tuesday said the night’s protest was “just the beginning.”