First Shot That Killed Laquan McDonald Was Clean, But Actions After Not So Much
Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014, has been charged with first degree murder. The announcement by the state attorney’s office comes as the city prepares to release a squad-car video of the incident that will likely spark racially-charged protests.
According to a source who spoke with PPD and has inside knowledge of the video and the scene it depicts, the first shot that killed Laquan McDonald was a clean shoot. However, the actions by the officer after the first shot are what remain in question. Apparently Van Dyke opened fire while he is about 15 feet away and continued to shoot McDonald after he falls to the ground. Police say McDonald, who was found with PCP in his system at the time of his death, was behaving accordingly and was refusing to listen to lawful police commands to drop his knife.
Still, despite the facts remaining murky, it didn’t stop the usual politicians from inciting further protest and anger before having knowledge of the facts. Police say McDonald, who was found with PCP in his system at the time of his death, was behaving accordingly and was refusing to listen to lawful police commands to drop his knife.
“In accordance with the judge’s ruling, the city will release the video by Nov. 25, which we hope will provide prosecutors time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week, according to The New York Times. “This officer didn’t uphold the law, he took the law into his own hands,” Emanuel said, though he admitted he had not even seen the video.
“[He] didn’t build the trust that we would want to see, and wasn’t about providing safety and security, so at every point he violated what we entrusted him.”
A judge last week ordered the Police Department to release the squad car dashcam footage by Wednesday after the city refused to do so for several months, saying the investigations into the shooting weren’t complete. The FBI and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office are still investigating, but a medical examination showed the 17-year-old was shot at least twice in the back.
The city under Emanuel has moved to suppress racial tension by pandering in other cases, rather than true outreach, which one miniter said they are only doing now at a moment the keg is heating up.
“You had this tape for a year and you are only talking to us now because you need our help keeping things calm,” one of the ministers, Corey Brooks, said after a meeting between officials and community activists.
The Chicago Police Department also said they are placing another officer on desk duty after a shooting, which they claim is standard procedure though there was no evidence of a bad shoot. A second officer who had shot and killed an unarmed black woman in 2012 in another incident minority communities have made a central part of the narrative. Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended firing Officer Dante Servin for the shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, saying Servin showed “incredibly poor judgment,” despite a jury acquitting him of involuntary manslaughter and other trumped up charges last April.