New light emerges on the 2011 raid where protesters want federal probe

There is new light on the past and present of protesters in Chicago who became infamous for assaulting a police officer and then demanding a federal probe.

The raid on the December 2011 house party was blamed by many on Michael Sykes, one of three Chicago police officers who confronted three unarmed teenagers outside the home, and shot and killed Deonta Howard.

But Sykes has become a target of criticism by some in the protests since. Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy described him to the Tribune as “somewhat of a rogue detective”.

Deborah Peart has been vocal in calling for federal investigation into the agency responsible for the officer’s arrest. In a 2016 interview, she did call the arresting officer “a soldier on the field” but said “police misconduct has to be looked at and we need a federal investigation. We need accountability.”

But her interview has been countered by activist R&B singer Common, who has called Sykes “my hero”.

Common called Sykes “the quiet warrior who set the tone for the phenomenal outcome,” and said it was an “act of self defense” to shoot Sykes.

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