A squad car arrived on the scene, and officers spotted the teen — later identified as Laquan McDonald — standing next to a car with a knife in his hand, Camden said. The teen began walking toward Pulaski Road and ignored the officers’ requests to drop the knife, Camden said.
“He’s got a 100-yard stare. He’s staring blankly,” Camden said of the teen. “[He] walked up to a car and stabbed the tire of the car and kept walking.”
Officers remained in their car and followed McDonald as he walked south on Pulaski Road. More officers arrived and police tried to box the teen in with two squad cars, Camden said. McDonald punctured one of the squad car’s front passenger-side tires and damaged the front windshield, police and Camden said.
Officers got out of their car and began approaching McDonald, again telling him to drop the knife, Camden said. The boy allegedly lunged at police, and one of the officers opened fire.
McDonald was shot in the chest and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:42 p.m. He lived in the 500 block of North Springfield Avenue, about 5 miles from where he was shot.
Camden said a knife was recovered from the scene. A statement from Police News Affairs said no officers were injured.
Camden said none of the officers who responded had a Taser to use on the teen and were trying to detain him long enough for one to arrive. He said officers were forced to defend themselves.
“When police tell you to drop a weapon, all you have to do is drop it,” Camden said. [Emphasis added.]
A long time ago, in a galazy far, far away, I worked in a county that received a grant for dash cams and recording devices. In the first year, dozens of arrests were tossed out and numerous other questionable behaviors revealed. It didn’t take long before every single dashcam was malfunctioning and audio/video of arrests wasn’t available.
there are much larger fish to fry here, but one relatively minor change is the practice of Pat Camden being the first guy out at these events and getting to deliver the first narrative to media has to stop.
A terrible tragedy. A life lost and a response that cannot be called anything other than a hideous coverup. Will this release make things better or worse? You look back at what CPD and FOP were saying after it happened… It will be hard for many to ever believe “official sources” in this type of situation ever again. This can be the start of more unrest, or the city, CPD and FOP can decide to take major and uncomfortable steps to make sure this type of response to a shooting never happens again. But do we believe that will actually happen?
Wow. I just don’t get what was going through this officer’s head to do this. It seems contrary to all training and police experience.
I know police are only trained to “shoot to kill” but it certainly would’ve appeared to be a case where if the officer felt threatened he could’ve put one into his leg to stop him. It’s not like this guy was some 400 pound behemoth on PCP…
I read, but did not comment, on this thread yesterday. Very disturbing on many levels.
By the way, the Huffington Post front page has a dozen related stories on this incident. Some are even more disturbing than what we were initially led to believe about the police and justice system in Chicago. I know there can be two sides to any story, but some of what I read seems to be irrefutable.
This is going to be a big situation for Rahm. He suppressed this for a year, was silent on Homan, and hasn’t done anything to stave off Rauners cuts. My guess is that come Monday it’s going to start a cycle worse than Baltimore. Huffington Post ran with the headline “21rst Century Lynching”. I just hope that the upheaval eventually brings about change like it appears to be in Ferguson. (although key political figures are now starting to skip meetings as reported by NPR) Still Jefferson City did respond somewhat to Ferguson with legislation. There has been a lot of money pouring into the area because of the unrest. It HAS helped. Unfortunately it has had a terrible effect on the Metro East across the river. Donations to food backs and social service agencies are up but are not being sent across the river. St. Louis agencies cover the metro east. Except now it’s being focussed towards Ferguson and being spread out. I know this because of the folks who call us DHS stating the pantries are out of food and can they get a voucher for another pantry.
Stating the obvious but the fact that officers like Van Dyke know that they will be protected by their colleagues enables the heinous act captured by the dashcam. Is there any real doubt that Van Dyke would not have been charged if this act had not been recorded?
Camden is arrogant. and I believe he retired from the police only to be rehired as a civilian becoming the CPD spokesperson, now moving to the union position which was created in this fashion with the hiring of Camden. that’s a lotta dough for an arrogant person.
was a taser used? aren’t these only in use by a Sgt? if yes, Sgt. was on scene.
the Feds ARE investigating. That’s why Anita called Zach, to warn him that since she was done, and the video was coming out, she was announcing charges. Zach will likely have something else coming.
As long as the police control the narrative, we aren’t going to make progress in eliminating rogue cops. This includes their protecters in the State’s Attorney’s office. As long as we have a Chicago mayor trying to play the victim rather than taking responsibility and action whenever corruption is exposed, the cycle continues uninterrupted.
Does anyone know if the officer was tested for drugs or intoxication shortly after this shooting? I believe that the testing is a requirement in cases like this.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 9:59 am:
He does not appear to lunge and officers, but does spin around abruptly. I will never understand why people don’t do what police say at the moment. If he drops the knife when first told to and follows instructions he would be alive today. Now, that does not excuse police actions that are not proper, but given that he had a weapon and his actions to this point — what a terrible split second position for the police officer to be in….was the man pulling a gun and spinning to shoot etc. Why would anyone be yielding a knife in defiance of police, in the middle of the street and slashing tires? A tragedy for sure and my heart goes out to his family and friends.
- Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:00 am:
I’m just sick about this.
In this instance, how many people failed to act morally after this shooting? How many people in the police department, the FOP, the IPRA, the city legal department, the Mayor’s Office, and the State’s Attorney’s office saw this video and did nothing but contribute to covering up the incident, in order to protect or advance their careers?
300 shootings by police officers since 2010 in Chicago, leaving 70 people dead. IPRA finds 299 of the 300 shootings justified. Does anyone believe them?
And the police complain that it is the people living in rough neighborhoods that have a “code of silence.”
I have not seen the video, nor will I watch it. The description of the event is enough for me.
I wonder why it is necessary for all of the media outlets to have this video.
One of the things that I don’t understand is how some radio stations will alert the listeners to potentially offensive language but will air tape of shootinga and explosions without the same notice.
Unlike a violent movie, where the actors and stunt people can walk away from the scene, video posted herein depicts the murder of a human being. The act of violence perpetrated on another by somebody in power.
I know what it is like to handle a dead human. I don’t need to see a real murder.
“Pat Camden to be a very effective spokesman for the CPD. Under the latest circumstances, however, he cannot be trusted by the public or the media.”
Pat Camden I’d no longer effective, not because he lies to the press and the public, but because his lies are no longer believed.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:06 am:
Lets not forget that this young man was purposely slashing tires and yielding a knife and chose to disregard police instructions to drop a weapon. He also chose to move spin around with his hands not being well seen — this is not a good thing to do for anyone when police have guns drawn. This cop had to make a split second decision. Does he wait for the individual to take the first shot? For crying out loud, don’t go around yielding a knife and walking in the middle of the street slashing tires and when police arrive show them your hands and drop the weapon and do exactly what they say. Now we have bad cops just like in every walk of life and I want all the facts to come out and a proper hearing/trial/investigation to be done. If the police acted outside of proper training and conduct then they should be held accountable.
@Facts are stubborn things - he spun around because he was shot.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:10 am:
Did not see that on the video — that changes things dramatically as it speaks to the police shooting! Thanks for the kind corrections…you could have been much harsher and with good reason.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:13 am:
Watched the video again and you are all correct on the shot causing the spinning around. I stand corrected on that huge key point.
- Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:13 am:
Watch it in full screen, he didn’t turn toward the cops, he was spun around a full 360 by the first shot.
- And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:14 am:
Facts are a Stubborn Thing - The coroner’s report said he had PCP in his system. His behavior leading up to the video, and for the brief time he is alive in the video, clearly indicate that he was not all there.
- Generation X - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:16 am:
The Mayor, police Chief and SA all need to go. This was as blatant attempt at covering up a homicide as you will ever see. No FOIA would have equaled no charges
- Century Club - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:16 am:
Mayor Emanuel and Chief McCarthy have repeated assailed the black community for not being cooperative during murder investigations - all while covered up a murder themselves.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:16 am:
I again was wrong on the guy spinning around on his own…you are all clearly correct that it was the ballistics of the police officer’s bullet that spun him around…..I was WRONG!
- Generation X - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:18 am:
PCP is irrelevant once the victim is clearly down and incapacitated and his body is still riddled with bullets.
- Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:21 am:
My comment wasn’t meant to impugn your integrity, it was just to point out an oversight.
- Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:21 am:
“His behavior leading up to the video, and for the brief time he is alive in the video, clearly indicate that he was not all there.”
He was walking slightly away from the cops as he was shot. He held out a small knife. I once saw a big guy punching and kicking at cops, and it took a group of them to bring him down and a while to do it. He was out of his mind also, probably drunk or high, but he wasn’t killed.
I see nothing in this video to justify the use of lethal force. I understand clearly that the kid could have been a threat to passersby and am certainly no law enforcement expert, but aren’t there non-lethal ways to incapacitate the kid and people like him?
- Lincoln Parker - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:24 am:
I really cannot wrap my head around why there were 5 officers already on scene who were doing their best to control the situation while waiting on a Taser, and then this officer shows up and unloads his entire gun just seconds after arriving on scene. It is even worse that other officers tried to cover it up. This was a bad cop who made bad decisions and needs to face justice for it.
Very sad that without the video there would be no outrage & no charges.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:24 am:
@Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:21 am:
=My comment wasn’t meant to impugn your integrity, it was just to point out an oversight=
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:27 am:
Agree that lethal force was not called for and they seem to have in contained for now and should have waited on less lethal force to stop him.
- Jose Abreu's next homer - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:30 am:
The word “Failure” keeps popping up in my mind. The cops and elected officials. It’s clear to me all they do is care about themselves which is what I always suspected.
- And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:32 am:
Grandson - I only mentioned the PCP to address Facts statement “I will never understand why people don’t do what police say at the moment.” It explains his erratic behavior and probably why he didn’t respond as the cops ordered.
That being said, nothing justifies what happened to this young man. Nothing in the video, nothing in common sense, nothing. This is a murder and a cover up. With all due respect to the presumption of innocence it’s hard to see this any other way.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:36 am:
Cop was wrong, young life lost…a tragedy. Bad cops exist and that is horrible and unacceptable. My heart goes out to his family! I just think that in these situations there is a larger narrative that tends to go un-talked about because it seems politically incorrect. I grew up, I am sure, in a much different environment then this young man ( I am making an assumption from an ignorant point of view). I had a loving father and mother and a great community and school to keep me on tract. By the grace of God, I had these amazing advantages. What a different world we would live in if every child born was born into a loving two parent home where a spanking and a hug were delivered when needed. I realize not all situations can be the ideal, but we have lost something in our society when we have so many broken homes with no fathers in them etc. It does matter (it is the ideal) to have a father and a mother to raise kids. Almost all of our problems would be gone if we simply made sure every child was planned and arrived into a home full of love and discipline surrounded by neighbors, schools, and family that made sure they stayed on tract. To pretend that the ideal does not exist and that family is at the core of the very fabric that holds our society and institutions together is folly. I am always reminded of the biblical admonition that you “reap what you sow”.
I am saddened by the loss and believe that cop should be held accountable for his actions. There is family that is now suffering the unbelievable loss of a loved one.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:06 am:
You’ve been watching Retired Detective Mark Fuhrman on FOX news? That’s his type of analyses..
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:38 am:
should have typed “is not at the core”
- Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:40 am:
“I only mentioned the PCP to address Facts statement”
Understood. There have to be ways to contain people like the kid in non-lethal ways. Not only would they likely save people, but society would be spared the intense pain, anger and discord. It would pay wider dividends.
LizPhairTax is right. A few years back, when the city created the Independent Police Review Authority, CPD stopped offering official comment to the media after officer involved shootings. They were criticized for reflexively saying the shooting was ” “justifiable” in almost every incident, even though an actual investigation hadn’t occurred.
The absence of official comment from the department created an opening for the FOP to set the narrative by sending Pat Camden, a retired police spokesman, to the scene of all shootings to feed the media beast. Camden is skilled, well known and liked by Chicago reporters, who are happy someone is willing to stand before the cameras and give them a quote in the middle of the night. This was a very shrewed move by the FOP to exploit the laziness of the Chicago media.
I hope in the subsequent journalistic investigation we also get a better sense for how this video survived, given all the clear clues of a cover up after the fact.
Did some of the cops just not realize the dash cam in question had captured the kill shot (it’s only just in the frame), until it was beyond their bureaucratic control? Or does the dash cam manually upload somewhere outside the car (no idea). Anyways, especially if it turns out the BK footage really was destroyed, that is the clearest evidence of a blatant effort to destroy evidence after the fact, so I’m real curious how in that case this video lived to see the light of day.
There are non lethal tools available such as the Taser and bean bag rounds. Bean bags are in a 12 ga. Shell and shot using a shotgun specifically designated to dispense this round. There are other non leather devices out there, but those are the popular two that come to mind. Although in my opinion and not applicable in this incident is the 21 foot reactionary gap rule Officers are taught in the academy and in continuing defensive tactics training. I say it doesn’t apply because McDonald is walking at an angle away from the officers and because the officers already have their weapons drawn. The 21 foot rule applies to an officer with a holstered weapon. I’m a retired officer, but from what I saw on the video I can’t defend this officers actions.
=For crying out loud, don’t go around yielding a knife and walking in the middle of the street slashing tires and when police arrive show them your hands and drop the weapon and do exactly what they say.=
What exactly is “yielding a knife”? Do you mean “wielding”, or is “yielding” a weapon some police term of which I’m unaware? Not trying to pick on you for typos, but you used the term multiple times, and the difference in terms is important in this debate.
Camden is a creation of the Police Department. the void is perhaps intentional. OR, they could be practicing what many good police and prosecutors believe…don’t talk to the media. the case is the case and the media does not play a part in the work. This is not about avoiding transparency—remember, I said that this is the belief of good cops and ASAs–, but about not letting facts get out in a way to destroy a case.
- Fight For Fairness - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:59 am:
I still would like to believe in our police officers; would still like to believe we can trust them, and also still have faith they protect and serve. I still can’t help but think of how many innocent people have been killed or put in jail by corrupt police officers. I would think and hope that videos will put a stop to a lot of this.
- Original Rambler - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:59 am:
My question is whether this will prompt the legislature to take steps to “streamline” the law enforcement disciplinary process and take it - at least partially - out of the collective bargaining process? Those police are a pretty powerful lobby.
I also would like to see something done about all the $$$ taxpayers dole out to settle brutality cases with minimal negative ramifications to the offending officer.
Finally, I wish other police could understand the damage and danger these rogue cops put them in.
- Where Was The Media? - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 11:01 am:
==A long time ago, in a galazy far, far away, I worked in a county that received a grant for dash cams and recording devices. In the first year, dozens of arrests were tossed out and numerous other questionable behaviors revealed. It didn’t take long before every single dashcam was malfunctioning and audio/video of arrests wasn’t available.==
This is, exactly, what will happen. All the technology in the world isn’t going to help if the officers on scene have the ability to turn the camera on and off. No reason why this can’t be done automatically. You respond to a call, the camera starts rolling, and you can’t turn it off until you clear the call. Real simple. What, we’re supposed to trust the Burger King Crew to document things with videos?
- Name/Nickname/Anon - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 11:01 am:
Is there dashcam audio/video from any of the other cars on the scene?
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 11:03 am:
- Moby - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 10:59 am:
=For crying out loud, don’t go around yielding a knife and walking in the middle of the street slashing tires and when police arrive show them your hands and drop the weapon and do exactly what they say.=
=What exactly is “yielding a knife”? Do you mean “wielding”, or is “yielding” a weapon some police term of which I’m unaware? Not trying to pick on you for typos, but you used the term multiple times, and the difference in terms is important in this debate.=
Thanks for pointing that out….”wielding” is what I meant to type. You are not picking on me, but simply pointed out my failure to type correctly. thanks
“Unfortunately, some officers and apparently some trainers as well have ‘’streamlined'’ the 21-Foot Rule in a way that gravely distorts its meaning and exposes them to highly undesirable legal consequences,” Lewinski says. Namely, they have come to believe that the Rule means that a subject brandishing an edged weapon when positioned at any distance less than 21 feet from an officer can justifiably be shot.
For example, an article on the 21-Foot Rule in a highly respected LE magazine states in its opening sentence that “a suspect armed with an edged weapon and within twenty-one feet of a police officer presents a deadly threat.” The “common knowledge” that “deadly force against him is justified” has long been “accepted in police and court circles,” the article continues.
In the best of all possible worlds, the video would not have been released until the trial of the officer and he would have been charged promptly. In the current posture obtaining an unbiased jury will be impossible. However, it’s not the best of all possible worlds and the Department and States’ Attorney’s office have apparently been covering up police abuse for many years. Why the delay, indeed? Anita Alvarez attempted to explain that yesterday and failed utterly.
- crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 11:19 am:
==Is there dashcam audio/video from any of the other cars on the scene?==
13 months later this is still an unknown.
Odd how the mayor’s statement/Q&A didn’t anticipate it being asked. Despite throwaway comments about “technical difficulties” as though we’ll all believe that these newfangled machines all have genies in them that cause inexplicable, forensically undetectable, magic malfunctions.
Because of course the audio from another car could well be synched up with the tape as released.
Interesting, too, how Garry was SO SURE that the cops never went to the BK to erase tapes.
Isn’t there footage of how many cops went into the BK?
Facts it is nice of you to acknowledge the suffering of his family after implying he was not as loved or well raised by them as you were in your family. i have no idea what his home life was like. But i can say growing up in a nicer suburb I knew a lot of kids that took drugs like pcp or acid and there is a very notable difference in how those kids were handled by law enforcement. I wonder if you are really trying to understand what lead to this tragedy or if you are trying to explain it in a way that does not force you to really look at the racial dynamic going on here.
I’d love to think he wouldn’t have been reelected, but I think he still would have won. People were told Rahm had the gravitas to stop shootings, not raise property taxes, prevent a teachers strike, and avoid credit downgrades. People who believed all that could surely believe this was one rogue cop.
It would be interesting to hear from those who knew this was all wrong but did not speak. Was it fear of retribution by the co-conspirators? Of course it was.
The fish rots from the head down. There are many involved with this cover-up that should be fired and/or prosecuted.
Police should have to be licensed and carry professional liability insurance like everybody else in the 21st century. Taxpayers should be held harmless from these types of bad cops and the administrators that protect them.
(h/t yesterday’’s article re same)
PCP in system? I hope the civil attorneys get a third party to verify that claim. More reasons to distrust this than to trust it.
- Facts are Stubborn Things - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 11:47 am:
@Dave - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 11:20 am:
=Facts it is nice of you to acknowledge the suffering of his family after implying he was not as loved or well raised by them as you were in your family=
You have missed my point, perhaps that is my fault. I don’t know, as I pointed out, what his family life was like. I also don’t in anyway try and compare amounts of love given by his family as compared to mine. What I was trying to point out, aside from this horrible tragedy caused by an out of control cop and an undeniable racial bias that exists that there is a larger societal question of which race is certainly one of. I am trying to make the point that in the black community there is a crisis of family. A complete break down in the very fiber of what family brings. There is an epidemic of broken homes and a horrible legacy of direct and indirect problems coming from that in the black community. I do acknowledge the racial issues we have in the country and the injustices that have been placed on blacks over history is horrible. My point is that there is a difference in the black community at large compared to the white community when it comes to the family structure. There are many exceptions, but am speaking in general. Just like you correctly point out the racial bias and the importance of it, I am trying to point out the huge role that the break down in the family plays in our culture. Racial bias and how cops handle white kids to black kids is probably very true and widespread. When I was growing up, there were many times when I felt things were unfair. I was always told by my parents to do what I could do to make sure I was not contributing to that unfairness. A teacher picking on me when I was not the one talking for example. However, as my parents would always point out…could this unfairness have happened because you were the one talking yesterday. I realize this example in no way compares to the tragedy we are discussing in thread, but I am trying to point out that there are always injustices but each person can do so much to offset them. You mentioned perhaps I did not want to look at the real problem, and I am offering to you that the “real” problem has many areas/sides to it. Racial bias flat out, but also my gosh a total collapse of the family in the black community is something that blacks can control. I urge every woman to take control and don’t give your precious gift of yourself until you have a ring and a date. Make that man do his part before he earns you. Make sure you have a nest built before you have babies. If you don’t do it no one will.
$5M check to the family (during the election cycle)… Enough evidence in the tape to do that.
No charges against the shooter until a judge orders the tape released, a ‘pending investigation’ the reason the public file should be held.
Hard to see this as anything but a politically motivated cover-up, the explanations are that feeble. Have to think the Feds are looking at that…
I watched the video once.Don’t want to watch it again.
Straight up homicide.
- logic not emotion - Wednesday, Nov 25, 15 @ 3:24 pm:
I posted about the Tueller drill and the difficulties in stopping an attacker within 21 feet… Action usually beats reaction. That remains true.
After watching the video multiple times, the shooting was simply not even close to being justified. It also appears that many of the shots were after he was no longer any threat. Bad shoot, bad cover up, and valid prosecution.