On a sunny weekend in 2016, racial tensions flared when two white off-duty cops fatally shot an armed black man in Mount Greenwood.
Joshua Beal, 25, of Indianapolis, had been in a funeral procession in the predominantly white neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side. The death of Beal, who was serving as a pallbearer for his cousin, prompted African-Americans to march in the neighborhood, yelling, “CPD, KKK!”
In response, Mount Greenwood residents took to the streets to show their support for the police and their neighborhood, a stronghold of white city workers. A white off-duty firefighter who was attacked during the incident posted the message “Mount Greenwood Strong” on his Facebook page.
Now, nearly a year and a half later, three city agencies reviewing the chaotic circumstances leading to Beal’s death say they’re continuing to investigate and won’t talk about the case.
But, according to dozens of pages of detectives’ reports and photos that the Chicago Sun-Times obtained only after suing the city to get them:
• A woman taking a smoking break from her bartender’s job said she heard a white driver shout the N-word to African-Americans in the funeral procession. That prompted them to stop, and she said she saw a black man then punch the unidentified white driver.
It was always my understanding that funeral processions have the right-of-way, and even upon vehicles leaving a cemetery, that respect should be shown because the people just said their last good-bye to someone they will never see again.