North Chicago rally draws 200 to protest Darrin Hanna’s death
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org November 20, 2011 8:24PM
11/19/2011 North Chicago Gloria Carr of North Chicago speaks about the death of her son Darrin Hanna during a peaceful rally outside of the North Chicago City Hall building on Saturday, November 19, 2011. Hanna died a week after being arrested and received immediate hospitalization the day of police responding to a domestic dispute at his apartment. | michael jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 22, 2011 8:04AM
At least 200 people showed up Saturday outside North Chicago City Hall to remember Darrin Hanna, the 45-year-old resident who died a week after being physically subdued by police during an arrest.
Protesters held a large sign that read: “Darrin Hanna. Gone But Not Forgotten. Justice for Darrin.”
State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, Third Ward Ald. Valerie DeVost, Second Ward Ald. Bonnie Mayfield and some Hanna’s family members, including his mother, Gloria Carr, talked to those gathered.
Carr thanked everyone for coming out. “God bless you and your family. That was my baby,” she said of Hanna. “I raised Darrin in a dignified way... I’m not going to stand by and let him go vain. That is not right,” she said.
“I’m going to work, I’m going to work, I’m going to work and get results,” she said. “I do need everyone’s help. I need you on my side. If you ride with me, you have to ride right,” she said to cheers and chants of “What do we want? Justice! What do we have? Power!”
“Darrin was a very loving person,” she said afterward. “He didn’t deserve to die as a murder. We have to get justice to this so I have closure. It’s not right.”
Hanna was arrested Nov. 6 by North Chicago police after the sister of his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend called police because the couple was fighting at his apartment in the 1700 block of Park Avenue and she heard Hanna threaten her sister. Police said officers entered the dark apartment and they had to physically restrain Hanna when he was injured and then taken to the hospital. He died at Vista East Medical Center, Waukegan, on Nov. 13.
Pictures of him the hospital showed him with swollen eyes, swollen nose and gauze covering his mouth and a tube going underneath the gauze. Some people have said police allegedly put a sheet over his body when he was removed from the apartment so onlookers could not see him. He had a warrant out for his arrest for domestic battery and aggravated battery from an earlier domestic incident.
Preliminary results of an autopsy showed multiple trauma and marks from an electroshock device like a Taser, according to Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey.
While he had an arrest record, it was mostly for retail theft at a time when he was going through drug problems according to family. Raymond Mayfield, his uncle, said when he went to the hospital he couldn’t recognize his nephew. “They did a job on him. It was bad,” he said.
Rep. Mayfield said Saturday’s demonstration was not “an anti-police rally.”
“This was for justice and accountability,” said Mayfield, who is also a relative of Hanna. “We’re going to make a difference. Your voice will be heard. Monday night 6 p.m. come to the council meeting.”
Other family members and speakers called for people to work within the system .
“Dagwood is what I called him,” said Ald. Bonnie Mayfield. “I don’t want any violence. We do have some good police officers. Come to the meeting Monday night.”
DeVost said there have been four fatal shootings by North Chicago police since 2005.
“What we need to do is band together. We need to hold people accountable from top to bottom. I will have the Department of Justice come to our community. I’ve already made the appointment,” she said.
Mayor Leon Rockingham also talked the crowd and told them how his father always said when life got hard you had to deal with it.
“We have good policemen here in North Chicago, but if we have a bad seed, we have to make sure he is weeded out,” he said.