Sara Burnett

CHICAGO: Hundreds of protesters blocked store entrances and shut down traffic in Chicagos ritziest shopping district on Black Friday to draw attention to the 2014 police killing of a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white officer.

Demonstrators stood shoulder to shoulder in a cold drizzling rain to turn the traditional start of the holiday shopping season on Michigan Avenues Magnificent Mile into a high-profile platform from which to deliver their message: The killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald captured on a squad-car video made public earlier this week was another example of what they say is the systemic disregard police show for the lives and rights of black people.

They chanted 16 shots! 16 shots! and stopped traffic for blocks to express their anger over the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting and the subsequent investigation, which they say was mishandled.

While shoppers continued to make their way along sidewalks and the empty street, some major retailers were forced to close, at least temporarily. Among them was the typically swamped Apple store, where dozens of employees in red shirts stood in an otherwise empty two-story space and watched through store windows as protesters linked arms to stop anyone from entering.

It was the largest demonstration in Chicagos streets since police on Tuesday released the video under a court order to make it public. Prosecutors charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder on Tuesday, before the videos release.

Several protesters were seen lying face-down on the ground in handcuffs. A police spokesman says there were three arrests during the demonstration, two of them traffic related and the third ?resulted from a battery.

Shoppers seemed to take the disturbance in stride. Honestly, its the cold thats likely to scare us away first, said Christopher Smithe, who was visiting from London with his girlfriend.