Disturbing Video Of Laquan McDonald’s Fatal Shooting Leads To Protest In Chicago
Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, is currently being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting death of Laquan McDonald. The cop turned himself in last night after authorities released disturbing dashcam footage of the moment he shot the 17-year-old 16 times on October 20, 2014.
The video was enough to push hundreds of protesters to peacefully shut down a major Chicago intersection last night, chanting “16 shots!” and “Is this a joke? They think it’s a joke!” according to NBC news.
For many, the footage of the killing is too upsetting to watch. The Chicago public school system even sent students home with a letter to parents yesterday noting counselors would be available if needed. As NBC described it:
“The six-minute, 53-second video has no audio — police said none was ever recorded.
“About five minutes, 20 seconds in, it shows a young man, later identified as Laquan, walking down the middle of a street as multiple officers draw their weapons. One of the officers appears to fire his weapon, and the man spins and collapses on his right side.
“His body continues to jerk as more shots apparently are fired into him; then an officer walks up and kicks something out his hand. Police have said Laquan was carrying a 3-inch-long knife.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel expected protest upon release of the dashcam footage and stated “Jason Van Dyke does not represent the police department.” In a full statement, he added:
“Across Chicago there are thousands of police officers who protect our communities every day with the highest professional standards. As the State’s Attorney made clear, Jason Van Dyke’s actions violated those standards and also the moral standards that bind our community together. Rather than uphold the law, he took the law into his own hands, and it’s now up to the justice system to hold him accountable.”
In speaking on the situation, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said “We have a tragic ending to — unfortunately — a tragic life of a young man, who was betrayed on a number of different levels,” referring to the fact that McDonald was a ward of the state up until a few days before his death when he was released into the custody of a relative. According to a spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the teen was the alleged victim in two abuse investigations which happened in 2000 and 2003.
Next Monday another court hearing will be held in the case at which time Judge Donald Panarese Jr. will make a final determination on bond for Van Dyke. In the interim he plans to view the video which has set off a wave of emotion all across the country.