Protesters demand firing of top cop and officers who fatally shot Dexter Reed

Protesters showed up Thursday night at a Chicago Police Board meeting demanding the firing and prosecution of officers who fired 96 shots at Dexter Reed during a traffic stop last month.

Dozens packed a conference room at CPD Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., in Douglas, while dozens more waited behind barricades outside, clamoring to be let in. Hundreds had gathered for a rally in support of Reed outside headquarters earlier in the evening.

Grace Patino, with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, said during public comment that Chicago police Supt. Larry Snelling — who was at the meeting — should be dismissed.

"Dexter Reed should be here today," Patino said. "The officers involved in the execution of Dexter Reed must be immediately fired and prosecuted to the fullest extent possible."

"We need an immediate end to pretextual traffic stops, and Larry Snelling should be fired," she added to loud applause.

Miracle Boyd, an activist with Good Kids Mad City, said Reed was "racially profiled," and his death was detrimental to Black communities.

"We demand the tactical units be banned, and Mayor Johnson, Supt. Snelling and COPA fire the officers," she said. "We no longer need police to perform traffic stops because it’s not safe."

Snelling didn’t address the Reed shooting or the calls for his firing and instead told the crowd at the meeting that he understood many of the issues they are fighting for because of his upbringing. He said the department is working on bettering its relationship with the community.

"This department is training, we’re working, and we’re working towards developing a greater relationship with our community members, and we will continue to do that," Snelling said. "I don’t deter anybody from stepping up for anything that you believe in. Please step up for any and everything that you believe in."

Snelling and Andrea Kersten, chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, during the meeting sparred over transparency in the Reed case. Snelling had criticized Kersten for making public comments on the preliminary information in the investigation before interviewing officers.

Kersten read a statement defending the sharing of preliminary information with the public as a crucial step in restoring trust between the public and the city’s institutions.

"Given our city’s history and the lack of trust in our institutions and processes that resolve these issues, it is crucial to provide information to the public when we can," Kersten said. "The recitation of preliminary facts that I delivered to the public last week was objective, fair and struck the delicate balance between informing the public and maintaining the integrity of the ongoing investigations."