* Carol Marin on the death of LaQuan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer last year…
The teenager was killed in a tumultuous time. Ferguson, Missouri, had recently jumped off in riots after a police shooting of a young man, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel was entering a tougher-than-expected re-election battle.
The police department and the police union both quickly put out stories about how McDonald continued to approach the officer and therefore was shot. The story would have disappeared had it not been for an anonymous city employee telling freelance journalist Jamie Kalven and University of Chicago civil rights attorney Craig Futterman that video would tell a very different story.
But it took until five days after Emanuel’s April election victory for the City Council to learn about the incident, when it was asked to give the McDonald family $5 million without the family ever filing a lawsuit.
* Carol Marin on the missing video…
Chicago police officers deleted footage from a security camera at a Burger King restaurant located fewer than 100 yards from where 17-year old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed, according to a Chicago-area district manager for the food chain. […]
The 86-minutes of missing video runs from 9:13 p.m. to 10:39 p.m., according to the lawyers for McDonald’s family. He was shot at approximately 9:50 p.m.
The Burger King sits at 40th and Pulaski and has a series of outside security cameras. On the night of the shooting, McDonald was trailed by Chicago police officers through the Burger King parking lot after a call about a man with a knife, according to attorneys for the McDonald family. […]
After the shooting, according to Jay Darshane, the District Manager for Burger King, four to five police officers wearing blue and white shirts entered the restaurant and asked to view the video and were given the password to the equipment. Three hours later they left, he said.
The next day, when an investigator from the Independent Police Review Authority asked to view the security footage, it was discovered that the 86 minutes of video was missing.
* There’s also missing audio, according to Marin…
Video captured by an in-camera squad car on the night a Chicago Police officer shot and killed 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald does not contain audio, according to attorneys for the McDonald family, who have viewed the tape. […]
“There’s no audio so we can’t hear the number of shots,” Neslund said. “My understanding is that there are two audio microphones in every CPD Tahoe that are supposed to be charged up, in fact the officers are supposed to be wearing them clipped to their uniform. But there is no audio from any of these vehicles as far as we know.”
* What the police said the day after the shooting…
A “preliminary statement” from the police News Affairs division, sent to the media early the next morning, said that after he had refused orders to drop the knife, McDonald “continued to approach the officers” and that as a result “the officer discharged his weapon, striking the offender.”
* Daily Beast…
The McDonald story begins on Oct. 20 when police were called to an industrial area in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. There, the teen was reported by police to have been behaving erratically. Officers requested back up because they weren’t equipped with the Tasers they should have used to take McDonald down and arrest him.
McDonald was put down without the Tasers, anyway.
Van Dyke and four officers followed McDonald in their squad cars as he wandered, high on the PCP that was later found in an autopsy, waving a four-inch blade. The teen eventually teetered into the street from the side, prompting the need for officers to react, the police union spokesman Camden said. Van Dyke and other officers reportedly ordered McDonald to drop the knife.
When he didn’t comply, Van Dyke and his fellow officers tried to box McDonald in with their squad cars. McDonald responded by puncturing a tire.
What came next depends on who you believe, which is why so many have called for the release of the video that may answer the questions that have persisted since Oct. 20
* Mary Mitchell…
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.
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.
The autopsy report is here.
The silent dashboard video will be released by Wednesday.
* The officer’s attorney…
Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, reiterated Friday that the officer feared for his life and the lives of other officers at the scene. He said the video doesn’t capture the entire incident.
“I can’t speak why the (other) officers didn’t shoot,” Herbert told reporters. “But I certainly can speak to why my client shot, and it is he believed in his heart of hearts that he was in fear for his life and that he was concerned about the lives of (other) police officers.”
* The officer who was alleged to have fired his weapon 16 times into the teenager had been hit with 15 citizen complaints about his work, but was never disciplined.
A Chicago investigator who determined that several civilian shootings by police officers were unjustified was fired after resisting orders to reverse those findings, according to internal records of his agency obtained by WBEZ.
* New York Times…
In 18 years with the Chicago Police Department, the nation’s second-largest, Jerome Finnigan had never been disciplined — although 68 citizen complaints had been lodged against him, including accusations that he used excessive force and regularly conducted illegal searches.
Then, in 2011, he admitted to robbing criminal suspects while serving in an elite police unit and ordering a hit on a fellow police officer he thought intended to turn him in. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. “My bosses knew what I was doing out there, and it went on and on,” he said in court when he pleaded guilty. “And this wasn’t the exception to the rule. This was the rule.”
Mr. Finnigan is one of thousands of Chicago police officers who have been the subject of citizen complaints over the years but have not been disciplined by the department, according to data released this month by the Invisible Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization, and the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School. Such information is rarely made public and has come to light in Chicago only after a decade-long legal battle by the institute and the clinic.
Chicago Police officers were disciplined in only 3 percent of more than 56,000 misconduct complaints filed over a 12-year period, according to a new analysis. […]
Only 10 percent of the officers were accused of misconduct 10 or more times, but they accounted for 30 percent of the complaints.
And those “repeater” officers saw fewer of their complaints sustained than other officers. […]
Black Chicagoans accounted for 60 percent of the complaints, but less than 25 percent of the sustained complaints. Black cops were found guilty of a higher percentage of offenses than white cops and they were punished twice as often.
*** UPDATE *** CBS 2…
A source close to the investigation believes a Chicago police officer who fatally shot a teenager last year will be indicted on Tuesday.
The exact nature of the charges from State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez were not immediately known.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a conference call on Monday with key civic leaders, urging calm once a video of the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald is released.
In the call, the mayor called the shooting “hideous.”