According to DNA Info Chicago, Black Lives Matter activists went to the scene of where 25-year-old Joshua Beal was fatally shot on Saturday afternoon in the predominantly white Mount Greenwood neighborhood. However, when they arrived, they were confronted by a group of whites holding a “Blue Lives Matter” flag and yelling at them to “get out.”
But, Black Lives Matter activist Kofi Ademola told DNA Info that they were only there to ensure that the Beal family was safe—nothing more.
“There was no protest [on our end],” he said. “We were there to check on the family to make sure they were safe. Next thing we knew, we were surrounded by a bunch of angry white people. Nobody said anything to them.”
Video posted online by BLM Chicago members shows a white man approach them and say “If you don’t support the police, you’re criminal.” Others yelled for them to get out of their neighborhood—some even screamed racial epitaphs and threatened violence.
“A young white guy [walked] up with a baseball bat. The police took the baseball bat from him,” Ademola recalled.
“White people are driving by and yelling at us, ‘[N–gers] go home! Get the [f–k] out of here! Blue Lives Matter.’ More of them got out of the car and chanted ‘CPD! Blue Lives Matter,’” he added.
As Hello Beautiful previously reported, Beal, who was in town from Indianapolis to be a pallbearer at his cousin’s funeral, was shot to death on Saturday afternoon. While police say Beal was shot because he didn’t drop his gun when asked, his family has a different version of events.
According to Beals’ sister Cordney Boxley, a driver, who she thought was a Chicago police officer, tried to run one her family members off the road. That sparked a confrontation between the family and the driver. Boxley says Beal only pulled out his gun after the man threw Beal’s 17-year-old female cousin to the ground and held a gun on her. Then, she says, the man just starting shooting—striking her brother with one his bullets.
The father of two later died at a local hospital on Saturday afternoon.
“Chicago police gunned my baby down like a viscous [sic] animal,” Tiffaney Boxley, Beal’s mother told ABC7.
“They shot him twice in the back and three times in his front,” she added.
Currently, the Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the incident and the officers involved will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days.