Chicago Not Releasing Video of Officer-Involved Shooting of a Baby Boy


Months after a teenager was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer, the city is still refusing to release the dash-cam video of the fatal shooting and didn't even show it to aldermen Wednesday before they approved a $5 million settlement with the family.

The October 2014 shooting death of Laquon McDonald hasn't generated the same kind of national attention as other recent high-profile confrontations involving officers. After some, in such places as South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arizona, video was released that quickly went viral.

In approving a settlement even before McDonald's family filed a lawsuit, some members of the Chicago City Council disagreed on whether releasing the video could spark the kind of angry protests seen elsewhere. While Danny Solis said making it public could "fan the flames," fellow Alderman Howard Brookins said fear of demonstrations or riots shouldn't drive the decision.

"I need this to stop, (and) if you don't show the video and this continues to happen then we're still heading down that path," he said.

Authorities say McDonald was wielding a knife and refused to drop it when officers followed him for several blocks. Another officer who responded to a call for backup fired the fatal shots. That officer, who hasn't been identified, has been stripped of his police powers and put on desk duty, but no decision has been made on whether he'll face criminal charges.

Although the city's attorney had cited the video in arguing for approval of the settlement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel explained Wednesday that police and the FBI are withholding it because it is "central to their investigation." In a statement, city officials said they were "confident this video will be released at the appropriate time when their investigation is complete."

But pending investigations haven't prevented other law enforcement departments from releasing video of contentious and, in many cases, deadly recent encounters involving officers.

Police in North Charleston, South Carolina, released dash-cam video that showed an officer making a routine traffic stop and the suspect running away. That video was released only after a witness' cellphone video went viral showing the officer later shooting the suspect in the back. The officer has been charged with murder.

A reserve sheriff's deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was booked on a manslaughter charge this week after video recorded on a sunglass camera was released to the public showing an officer tackling a suspect before a shot rang out.

And on Wednesday, dramatic dash-cam video was made public of a Marana, Arizona, police officer plowing his cruiser into a rifle-toting robbery suspect at high speed. The officer has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

Even in Chicago, where the department has been dogged by a reputation for police brutality, security video from a tavern helped convict an off-duty police officer who could be seen in 2007 pummeling a female bartender — an incident that many have speculated wouldn't have resulted in charges if not for the video.

Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor who has studied the city's police department, said videos like the one showing McDonald's death must be released if the department ever hopes to shed its reputation for excessive force, particularly in black neighborhoods.

Hmm that is the only image available of him... I guess the rest of the stuff has been scrubbed.


Ideologically Unsound
5 million? He probably would have fetched 250 at auction.

The family, they good.
Again I do find it weird I can't find another picture of him... just the one in the gown.

Wonder if they had handlers right from the beginning.

Edit: there are definite shenanigans afoot.
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Little more info (note an opinion piece):

Why the city doesn't want video of Laquan McDonald's shooting released

The city does not want you to see video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Attorney Jeffrey Neslund is barred from releasing the dash-cam video he obtained from the city under conditions of a $5 million settlement expected to be approved Wednesday by the Chicago City Council.


But Neslund described the images to me.

Laquan McDonald, 17, is walking west in the middle of Pulaski Road at 40th Street. He has a knife in his right hand.

He is not running.

He is not lunging.

He is walking.

Two Chicago Police officers jump out of a Tahoe with their guns drawn.

McDonald is still walking west toward the sidewalk with a full lane of traffic separating him from one of the officers.

When the officer begins shooting, the first shots spin McDonald around. The officer continues to fire from a distance of between 12 and 15 feet.

McDonald falls.

The only movement is the puffs of smoke coming from the teen’s torso and his head.

The police officer comes into view and kicks the knife out of the boy’s right hand.

Neslund and his partner, Michael D. Robbins, represent McDonald’s mother, Tina Hunter.

“I certainly expect that the officer will be indicted, and not just the officer, but any officer, supervisor or lieutenant who took part in covering this up and justifying what cannot be justified,” Neslund told me.

“This was an execution of a young man that should have been — and could have been — avoided,” he said.

A Chicago Police officer fatally shot McDonald on Oct. 20 on the Southwest Side. An autopsy revealed McDonald’s body had 16 bullet holes.

The officer involved in the shooting was stripped of his police powers and put on desk duty. The Chicago Police Department declined Tuesday to confirm the officer’s name or race.

Meanwhile, Neslund said other police personnel should be disciplined for allegedly trying to thwart the investigation into McDonald’s death.

“Chicago detectives went in [Burger King] the next morning without a warrant, and 86 minutes of surveillance footage from all the cameras within Burger King were removed from the computer’s hard drive,” Neslund alleged.

A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department News Affairs did not respond to my request for comments on this latest allegation.

According to Neslund, the dash-cam video has not been aired because of the fear of violent protests.

“I agonized over this. I really wanted to let it go viral, but how would that affect the city of Chicago?” the lawyer asked.

“Ultimately, the more I thought about it, the more I decided against it. Yes, it was a huge bargaining chip in the negotiations, but I didn’t want that on my conscience.”

McDonald’s mother has not seen the video and does not want it released publicly, Neslund said.

“I met with her and Laquan’s uncle, and he was really concerned. He was afraid he would see their neighborhood burned,” the lawyer said.

Yet none of us can hide.

Indeed, it is eerily ironic this case is unfolding in Chicago — the city where Mamie Till Mobley made the ultimate sacrifice by allowing the world to see what hatred did to her son.

A young black male unjustifiably killed by police is the Emmett Till of our time.

Ummm why is he walking around with a knife in his hand?

Norm Stansfield

Ummm why is he walking around with a knife in his hand?
Don't know. Don't care. Don't care about the knife, don't care about him getting shot. What I do care about is having a transparent government. So release the fucking footage.


Registered User
Little more info (note an opinion piece):


Ummm why is he walking around with a knife in his hand?
Why are the cop walking around with guns?

This is actually an improvement for the fine officers at the Chicago PD. Any time they kill someone they usually write it down as a suicide. The Chicago cops shot a 14 year old a couple weeks ago, they claimed he had a gun and he was reaching but the autopsy showed that he was shot in the back and the bullets were going in a way that indicated he was lying down when he was shot. The murder was caught on a stores security cameras but the cops (confiscated) stole the footage and refuse to let anyone see it. They labeled his death as a suicide. A lot of people lay down on the ground, and shoot themselves in the back when committing suicide.

Nothing but corruption and criminals come out of Chicago government. I'm glad we put a Chicago politician in the white house.


I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Chicago officer charged with murder; city to release video of shooting
CHICAGO | By Mary Wisniewski

A white Chicago policeman was charged on Tuesday with murdering a black teenager, a prosecution that was speeded up in hopes of staving off a fresh burst of the turmoil over race and police use of deadly force that has shaken the United States for more than a year.

A highly anticipated video of the Oct. 20, 2014 shooting was to be released on Tuesday afternoon, a day earlier than expected, after a shorter version came into the possession of Chicago media, a police spokesman said.

Seventeen-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by police officer Jason Van Dyke, who emptied his gun and prepared to reload, prosecutors said. Van Dyke, 37, has said through his lawyer and the police union that the shooting was justified because he felt threatened by McDonald.

"Clearly, this officer went overboard and he abused his authority, and I don't think use of force was necessary," Alvarez said at a news conference after the hearing.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appealed for calm as the city prepared for possible protests.

"It is fine to be passionate but it essential to remain peaceful," Emanuel told a news conference to announce the release of the video, which was taken by a police patrol car's dashboard camera. Emanuel was flanked by a dozen community leaders at the news conference.

At the same news conference, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said police would "facilitate" protests but would not tolerate criminal behavior.

Van Dyke was denied bail at a hearing in Chicago's main criminal courthouse hours after top Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez announced charges of first-degree murder. If convicted, Van Dyke could face 20 years to life in prison.

At the brief court hearing, prosecutor Bill Delaney told Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Donald Panarese that a video of the 2014 shooting does not show McDonald, who was armed with a knife, advancing on Van Dyke, and that witnesses concur on that fact.

The judge scheduled another hearing for Monday and asked to see the video then in order to reconsider the issue of bond.


Van Dyke has had 20 misconduct complaints made against him during the past 4-1/2 years, none of which led to any discipline from the Chicago Police Department, according to research by Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and expert on police accountability issues.

"The Chicago Police Department refuses to look at potential patterns of misconduct complaints when investigating police misconduct," Futterman said. "If the department did look at these patterns when investigating police abuse, there is a great chance right now that 17-year-old boy would still be alive."

He believes Van Dyke is the first Chicago police officer to be criminally charged for an on-duty shooting.

Alvarez also said prosecutors moved up the timing of the charges ahead of the release of the video.

"With release of this video it's really important for public safety that the citizens of Chicago know that this officer is being held responsible for his actions," she said.

Last week, a court ordered the release of the video. The police union objects to its release.

McDonald's death came at a time of intense national debate over police use of deadly force, especially against minorities. A number of U.S. cities have seen protests over police violence in the past 18 months, some of them fueled by video of the deaths.

The uproar was a factor in the rise of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement and has become an issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Van Dyke's lawyer Daniel Herbert said his client would prevail in court.

"This is a case that can't be tried in the streets, it can't be tried in the media, and it can't be tried on Facebook," Herbert said.


McDonald's family called for calm, as did city authorities and black community leaders.

"No one understands the anger more than us, but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. Don't resort to violence in Laquan's name. Let his legacy be better than that," McDonald's family said in a statement through their lawyer.

In Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, family appeals for peace were not always heeded.

Black community leaders in Chicago said they feared violent protests in reaction to the video. Politicians and church leaders in the Austin neighborhood urged potential demonstrators to protest peacefully.

"We feel your pain, but we challenge you to turn your pain into power. We know protests are coming, please allow them to be peaceable," the Rev. Ira Acree said at a news conference.

Police shootings are frequent in Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States with 2.7 million people, roughly one-third white, one-third black and one-third Hispanic.

From 2008-2014 there were an average of 17 fatal shootings by police each year, according to data from the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police misconduct.

Almost all shootings, fatal and non-fatal, are found to be justified.
How in the fuck do you expect your son to be successful when his name is Laquon McDonald?


Wackbag Uncle Tom
I'm on police side in all matters, but after watching video.......what the fuck!!!!!


τι θελεις
The video isn't completely clear to me, but let's say the officer straight up murdered the guy- isn't being charged with said murder exactly what's supposed to happen?


I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Wow...that video

What did the officer think he saw?

The video isn't completely clear to me, but let's say the officer straight up murdered the guy- isn't being charged with said murder exactly what's supposed to happen?
Give up a perfectly good reason to riot? Please.


I'm Team Piggy!

First riot in a major metro area.

It ain't called Chiraq for nothing.


I'm Team Piggy!
99 percent of the time, cops do the right thing.

I am playing the odds here.


I'm Team Piggy!
If I was there, I would have simply shot the knife out of his hand.



I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
They are now going full ooga booga in the streets.