The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Neighborhood Reacts to Chicago Police Murder

Jul 23, 2018

On July 14th, Chicago police killed Harith Augustus, better known as “Snoop,” just steps from the South Shore barber shop where he worked. He was 37 years old, known for being a quiet, thoughtful man and a proud father.

To justify the murder, the police released a ten-second video trying to show Augustus was armed and that his hand went close to his gun.

But people in the neighborhood insisted he was no threat to anyone. He worked “more than 50 hours a week,” according to the owner of the barber shop. Everyone in the neighborhood knew him by sight at least. They say that if the cops had any kind of connection to the neighborhood, they would have known who he was. Instead, the cops approached this black man the way they usually approach black men – as if he were a criminal. They were ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. They started a confrontation and escalated it into an execution.

Within minutes of the shooting, a crowd of about a hundred gathered at the site to confront police. People chanted “Murderers!” and “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?” Angry neighborhood residents threw bottles and rocks and the police attacked protestors with batons.

The cops’ own video makes it clear – if a group of police had not surrounded Augustus and accosted him without reason, he would be living today. And for many South Shore residents, this was a last straw after so much police brutality toward black Chicagoans.