Chicago Police Release Footage of Laquan McDonald Being Shot 16 Times

Illustration for article titled Chicago Police Release Footage of Laquan McDonald Being Shot 16 Times

Earlier today, Chicago officials released a dashcam video showing the brutal shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The video was released after a judge ordered the footage be released to the public.

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In a grainy, soundless video, which opens with a long segment of a police car driving to the scene, McDonald can be seen running and walking past officers in the middle of the street. He is suddenly struck by bullets and falls to the ground. As he lays on the ground, still moving, it appears that he’s shot again and again. An officer appears to kick something out of McDonald’s hand. None of the officers offers any aid.

McDonald was shot 16 times in October of 2014. All of the bullets came from Jason Van Dyke, a 14-year police veteran, was charged with first-degree murder earlier today. Van Dyke has been the subject of numerous complaints, many of which allege racial bias and use of excessive force. The New York Times reports:

Officer Van Dyke started shooting less than 30 seconds after arriving at the scene, the prosecutor said, and he fired for 14 or 15 seconds. For 13 of those seconds... Mr. McDonald was already on the ground. Witnesses said Mr. McDonald, who was carrying a folding knife, never spoke to Officer Van Dyke nor did he do anything threatening toward him.

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Van Dyke is currently being held without bail. In a press conference accompanying the release of the video Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “It is now the time to come together as one city, show respect for one another.” Emanuel and city leadership have faced intense criticism for waiting over a year to charge the officer with the teen’s death.

According to DNAInfo, McDonald’s family did not want the video released, describing it as “graphic” and “violent.” In a statement, the McDonald family asked for “calm in Chicago.”

Image via AP.

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DISCUSSION

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AllieCat demands hats on cats-is probable weirdo

This is heartbreaking. And how awful for the family that everyone can watch a video of their child murdered (if it was against their wishes for it to be released).

I recently learned that in the iconic picture from the Oklahoma City bombing of the firefighter carrying the baby, the little girl was already deceased and he was just trying to move her body. The family had to deal with that picture not only on magazine covers but on tshirts and mugs and signs. Their other kids had to have textbooks with their murdered sisters picture in them for history. It’s so absolutely disturbing.

I get that the video was released so people could see just how heinous the police officer’s actions were.... But I don’t know if it’s appropriate to go against the family’s wishes.