UPDATE: Officer Van Dyke has just been charged with first-degree murder. CNN is reporting it as, “a major turn that comes as many in the city braced for potential unrest.” Again, you cannot miss the timing. Why did the city wait all this time until after the dashcam video’s release has been ordered?
It’s the video that reportedly might tear Chicago apart.
As reported last week, the next #BlackLivesMatter riots might be headed to Chicago. The judge has decided, and the city is bracing for what has been described as a police “execution” video of a young black teen shot 16 times by a white cop to be released on court order this week.
The video reportedly shows Officer Jason Van Dyke fire on 17-year-old Laquan McDonald without a justifiable reason 16 times. Even though the first shot or two drops McDonald, as one witness said, “the police kept shooting and shooting” long after McDonald was obviously not capable of being a danger to anyone.
The city had previously fought the release of the dash cam, knowing it would likely lead to protests and even riots. In fact, the city preemptively paid McDonald’s family a settlement of $5 million before the family even decided to file a lawsuit in this case, $5 million some media outlets are referring to as a payoff to keep the video hidden from the public.
Then again, McDonald’s own family is asking that the video not be released because of the pain it might cause the community.
After the city lost its appeal and decided not to continue fighting the video’s release, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the following statement:
“Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents. In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level. As a result, the city’s Independent Police Review Authority promptly sent this case and the evidence to state and federal prosecutors who have been investigating it for almost a year. In accordance with the judge’s ruling the City will release the video by November 25, which we hope will provide prosecutors time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal.”
Come on. He knows what is coming to his city. Considering everything that is going on at the moment, it almost feels like this entire situation, including the coming civil unrest, is a big set up. Many outlets are reporting that activists are at the ready for the video’s release… but this shooting happened in 2014. Shouldn’t they be protesting already?
Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran, has been stripped of all police powers pending an investigation. He has not been charged with a crime at this time. His attorney has maintained that Van Dyke feared for his life when he shot McDonald. Shockingly, if Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in this case, it will be the first time a Chicago police officer has ever faced that charge.
The clock is ticking. The video must be released by Wednesday, November 25th to comply with the court’s order.
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