Laquan McDonald: Dash Cam Shooting Footage Sparks Outrage In Teen’s Shooting

While on the ground you could see his body jerk as more bullets flew into him. 16 bullets entered his body in total. Officer Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and has been ordered held without bail at least until Monday.
screen shot of police dash cam footage

Yesterday was a monumental  day in  Chicago. For the  first time in  Chicago, a police officer has been  charged with murder for a death that occurred during service. Outrage and calls for justice have been  almost non-stop in Chicago  since the October officer involved 2014 shooting  death off  Laquan McDonald.

Protesters and police  clashed last night in  Chicago  as  protesters took to the street enraged by  the dash cam  footage that was released yesterday afternoon. The  residents of the city as well for many on the internet have been calling  for  the dash cam  footage to  be  released for over a year now. It took for a lawsuit  to be filed independently by journalist  Brandon Smith, who  filed a  FIOA which resulted in last weeks ruling that the footage MUST  be released.

Just hours before the footage was released to the public the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez publicly announced murder charges against the cop involved, Officer Jason Van Dyke. The dash cam footage  plainly refutes the  story of  Officer Van Dyke  who  claimed in his official report that  he shot the teen after he had “lunged at him”. The footage  clearly shows LaQuan, who at the time high on PCP and  wielding a  small knife, walking down the center of the street. He was  in  no way threatening to any officer, attempting to avoid them when suddenly he was  hit  by gunfire and  fell to the ground. While on the ground  you could see his body jerk as more  bullets  flew into him. 16 bullets entered his body in total.

The  night of the shooting Pat Camden, the FOP representative  made a statement saying The officers were in fear for their lives, the former spokesman for the Chicago Police Department told news cameras. Jason Van Dyke,  “discharged his weapon, striking the offender. The  “I was in  fear of my life” card has  been  played by almost every officer  who has faced  a controversial  shooting lately. However the  footage makes it clear that could not have been the  case. In fact, the  most damaging  part of the video is the time it took the officer to decide this young man must be shot. It’s noted that Officer Van Dyke had been on the scene less than 6 seconds  before he opened fire on  McDonald. The  footage  also  makes it hard to  ignore the fact that  after LaQuan McDonald was on the  ground wounded, Officer McDonald continued to pump at least 10 more shots in his body. What we can’t see on  video but  has  been put in an official report by Officer Van Dyke’s partner is that after he had  unloaded his  whole clip into the  young man, officer Van Dyke attempted to reload his gun. At which time his partner told him to “hold his fire” while he  goes up to LaQuan and  kicks the small knife out of his hand, which can be seen on video.

Officer Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder and has been ordered held without bail at least until Monday. That didn’t stop his wife, Tiffany Van Dyke from  starting  a Go Fund Me campaign to  attempt to  raise his bail. She tried to ask for money without mentioning the officer  by name instead  calling him a “15 year  Veteran officer fighting for his freedom and justice” She went on to share that “He is a highly decorated and respected officer. He was in a shooting that has been covered extensively by the media and we ask for your patience for all the facts to come out in the trial. We want him to be home with his family as we go through this judicial process.” As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, donors had given more than $10,000 of the $80,000 sought. The page, which also attracted  many  negative  statements was taken down at 11 a.m. Fraternal Order of Police leaders sent out an email Tuesday night to all current and retired FOP members asking them to contribute to a fundraising effort for bail money once his bond is set.

Highly decorated? While that may be true it is  also true that this 15 year  veteran officer had At least 18 citizen complaints  according to the database have been filed against him though he was never disciplined, according to a University of Chicago database. Eight complaints alleged excessive force and  two involving the use of a firearm and  there  have been accusations of racial slurs. You can  see ALL of his complaints here.

Though he has never  been disciplined the city paid out a $350,000 settlement in 2007 after a federal jury in a civil case found that Officer Van Dyke and his  partner at the time had  used excessive force in  handcuffing a suspect. For more information on  the officer’s misdeeds check out 5 Facts You need To Know About Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Over night tensions  mounted in   Chicago as police and  protesters  both  took to the street. People are outraged after seeing the graphic  video that it took so long to  charge the officer. Hundreds of protesters took to the street last night and early this morning. Videos of the tense  encounters between the police and  protesters  have started to  make their way to the internet. Protesters marched  chanting “16 Shots” which is the amount of bullets which  riddled the body of LaQuan Mcdonald.

The McDonald  family has issued a statement asking  for peace in the wake of the video  being released. “No one understands the anger more than us but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful,” the statement said. “Don’t resort to violence in Laquan’s name, let his legacy be better than that.” The family who never  filed a wrongful death lawsuit and did not want the footage released, already has settled with the city, accepting 5 Millions dollars in April of this year.

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