* The power of video…
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez on Monday will announce the results of an investigation into a fatal Chicago police shooting that occurred a week before 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by a different officer.
The announcement in the case of Ronald Johnson III comes less than a week after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would drop its fight against release of police dashboard video showing an officer shooting Johnson in the back on the South Side.
* Is anyone really surprised?…
Newly released documents in the fatal shooting of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald – including original incident reports, as well as summaries filed later by detectives — show that critical aspects of some officers’ version of events are not backed up by the now widely-viewed video of the incident. […]
One report states that as Van Dyke arrived and exited his vehicle, McDonald was “swinging the knife in an aggressive, exaggerated manner.” […]
In the video, Van Dyke begins firing at McDonald within about 30 seconds of arriving on the scene, near Pulaski Road and 41st Street — though the other officers already on the scene did not fire.
The report, however, has Van Dyke fearing for his life.
* Go read this entire story…
It is a system seemingly designed to fail.
Chicago police officers enforce a code of silence to protect one another when they shoot a citizen, giving some a sense they can do so with impunity.
Their union protects them from rigorous scrutiny, enforcing a contract that can be an impediment to tough and timely investigations.
The Independent Police Review Authority, the civilian agency meant to pierce that protection and investigate shootings of citizens by officers, is slow, overworked and, according to its many critics, biased in favor of the police.
* Oh, geez…
It sounds like something James Bond would carry: A knife that’s also a gun.
But it is the kind of thing police officers are warned about from time to time, just as they are about guns disguised as belt buckles and tire gauges and motorcycle handlebars modified to fire a shotgun round.
The knife-gun, which isn’t well known outside of gun enthusiast circles, has pushed its way into the case surrounding the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old who was shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke.
The city released more than 300 pages of police reports and other investigation documents late Friday pertaining to the case, including a December 2012 bulletin warning officers about a “revolver knife” and a reference to Van Dyke remembering the bulletin.
During an interview with his superiors about the sequence of events and his decision to use deadly force, Van Dyke said he was aware of throwing knives, spring-loaded knives that propel a blade and he “recalled a previously issued Chicago Police Department bulletin warning of a weapon which appeared to be a knife but which actually was capable of firing a bullet, making it a firearm.”
* Meanwhile, if you read this Sun-Times story, you’ll see that the alderman who claimed they were deliberately misled by the mayor’s office about the shooting aren’t really telling the truth…
In painstaking detail, Patton described how Officer Jason Van Dyke, whom Patton did not identify by name on that day, fired 16 shots into McDonald’s body on October 20, 2014, as five other responding officers exercised restraint.
* And here come the feds…
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday the Justice Department civil pattern or practice probe of the Chicago Police Department will focus on the police use of force, racial bias and its systems of accountability.
Lynch said the investigation will review in part the department’s use of force and deadly force, how any violations are investigated, how those officers are disciplined and whether there is any racial or ethnic disparity in how those matters are handled.
* Here’s what to expect…
A pattern or practice review determines whether there are unlawful policing practices in a police department. If there is an agreement that remedies need to take place, the negotiated deal is overseen by a federal judge who appoints an independent monitor. If there is no agreement, the Justice Department can go to federal court and seek an order.
According to the Justice Department, “in addition to gathering information directly from community members, all pattern and practice investigations involve interviewing police and local officials, gathering information from other criminal justice stakeholders, observing officer activities through ride-alongs and other means, and reviewing documents and specific incidents that are relevant to the investigation.
“At the conclusion of an investigation, the division issues a public report detailing the findings. If the investigation finds no systemic violations of constitutional or federal statutory rights by the law enforcement agency, the division will state that and close the investigation. If, on the other hand, there are findings of patterns or practices of misconduct, the division will articulate precisely what those patterns or practices are, and will identify any systemic deficiencies underlying those patterns.”
* ADDED: Sen. Mark Kirk Reacts to Laquan Mcdonald Shooting: “As far as I’m concerned, every single police officer who witnessed this shooting and failed to arrest officer Jason Van Dyke or who falsified reports to mislead investigators should be off the streets,” said Sen. Kirk in a statement. “And every person who made an effort to hide the murder of Lacquan McDonald should be held accountable by either the Department of Justice investigation, the federal grand jury investigation or the upcoming trial,” Kirk added.
* This Is How London Police Deal With A Knife-Wielding Suspect
* Rahm Emanuel op-ed: I own the problem of police brutality, and I’ll fix it
* Black People Are Not Ignoring ‘Black on Black’ Crime: To the extent that killings by the police generate more outrage, it is completely understandable. Police in America are granted wide range of powers by the state including lethal force. With that power comes a special place of honor. When cops are killed the outrage is always different than when citizens are killed. Likewise when cops kill under questionable terms, more scrutiny follows directly from the logic of citizenship. Great power. Great responsibility.
* Police review authority boss ousted: A former federal prosecutor will head the agency charged with investigating police shootings in Chicago after the immediate resignation of its chief administrator, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office announced Sunday.