Back in April, the family of Black Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald was awarded $5 million after the police shooting death of the 17-year-old. Although McDonald was armed, a dashcam video that’s soon to go public reportedly reveals that the boy was shot 16 times in the back by a white officer as he retreated.
According to the ruling of a Cook County judge, the Chicago Police Department now has to release a dashboard video of the confrontation that led to McDonald’s violent death.
According to those who have seen it, the video shows Laquan McDonald, 17, walking away from police when one officer opened fire. His back was turned toward the white officer when he was shot 16 times on October 20, 2014. Five other responding officers showed restraint in the video. The teen had a small knife.
“This is about justice. This is about transparency. We came together to do that today and I hope what we’re doing today sets precedence,” William Calloway, Christianaire, said.
Investigators said McDonald refused to drop the knife when officers confronted him. They had been called to the scene after someone reported seeing a man wielding a knife.
Making this is a more curious matter, the city has decided not to appeal the release of the video. Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama has demanded that the video to be released by Nov. 25 on the heels of a Freedom of Information Act request by a journalist.
The Daily Beast reports that McDonald never posed a threat to officer Jason Van Dyke despite not dropping the knife and also reportedly high on PCP. McDonald also stabbed a squad car’s tire, but he was several feet away from officers when he was gunned down according to accounts.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel sided with the CPD in keeping the video from a public release, and there are murmurs about a feared riot in the streets. None of these claims have been substantiated by any hard evidence, however.
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