The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

26-Year-Old Killed by Chicago Cops

Apr 22, 2024

On March 21 of this year, Dexter Reed, a 26-year-old man, was stopped by plain-clothes police while driving in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The reason given was that he was “not wearing his seat belt.”

Four cops approached his car, guns drawn. Dexter Reed opened his car window and when a cop tried to pull his door open, Reed maybe shot his gun over the window pane.

Four officers returned fire, shooting 96 rounds in around 41 seconds.

Reed opened his car door and fell to the ground. All this was recorded by a body-worn camera footage released by COPA (Civilian Office of Police Accountability).

The video shows multiple perspectives. Including from one officer who was shot, but there isn’t clear footage of Reed shooting.

Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling described it as an “exchange of gun fire.” Reed’s family members demand answers on why Reed was pulled over. The family’s attorney said the police stop was unconstitutional, with plain-clothes officers who did not announce they were police.

Reed’s family members know that nothing will bring back their loved one, but they demand a full investigation of the case. Later they joined a demonstration outside the 11th District Police Station, where protesters demanded the firing of the officers who shot Reed.

The officers were placed on a 30-day administrative leave amid the investigation from COPA and the Cook County State Attorney’s office.

COPA was created in 2016 after the city was forced to release dashcam video of then officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

CPD has repeated on television that they are working with the community to solve the high crime situation that Chicagoans have in the city. But shooting 96 rounds in less than a minute means that the police will never be part of the community. This situation creates fear and distrust from young people. This tragedy tells them that the police was created to serve the rich and not the poor neighborhoods.