Matthew Walberg, Chicago Breaking News Center, Nov. 5, 2008
At least five people were arrested across the city after Barack Obama’s rally in Grant Park, including a woman who slapped a Chicago police officer, saying police couldn’t arrest her anymore, prosecutors said today.
Most of the others celebrated the historic occasion with gunfire.
Celita Hart, 19, stood silently in court today when she appeared for a bond hearing.
Prosecutors said Hart, who is black, yelled “ ‘White [expletive], [expletive] McCain—you white police can’t do nothing anymore.’“ With that, she reached through the window of a squad car and slapped a white male officer in the face, according to Assistant State’s Atty. Lorraine Scaduto.
The incident occurred after police responded to a crowd of people celebrating Obama’s win on the corner of 69th Street and Western Avenue. Hart, of the 7100 block of South Rockwell Street, was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer and was ordered her held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Others who appeared before Circuit Judge Israel Desierto included Andre Murph, 37, of Aurora, who was arrested after police saw him shooting a handgun into the ground on the Southwest Side.
Scaduto said he told the officers he was “shooting to celebrate Obama as president.”
Narada Thomas, 23, of the 1200 North Central Avenue, allegedly gave a similar explanation after he was arrested with a handgun near his home. “He said he had the gun because he wanted to celebrate Obama becoming the first black president,” Scaduto said.
Kenneth Smith, 24, of the 6700 block of South Ada Street, was arrested after he allegedly fired a handgun outside his home. Smith, who is on parole for a previous weapons conviction, told authorities that “the police only arrested him because a black man won for president,” Scaduto said.
Robert Morgan, 54, of the 5700 South Lowe Avenue, appeared to have simply been caught up in the excitement.
When officers arrested him for allegedly firing a handgun into the air from his back porch, “He told the officers, ‘Everyone else is shooting off their guns—I figured, why not?’“ Scaduto said.