Captured on dash-cam video in October 2014 was the video of young Chicagoan Laquan McDonald, shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer. Video evidence seems to readily contradict the assessment and accusations made by said police officer and the Chicago PD. This week, the Justice Department has decided to probe the department on the grounds of suspicious activity.
Chicago is one of the deadliest cities in the United States to reside in, especially if you are a black teenager. Mostly due to black-on-black crime, the hate crimes occasionally committed by those in power are nevertheless as frightening. Citizens look up to these police officers; the safety these individuals provide has started to come into question. This is bad news for both sides, especially when the majority of the population and the majority of police officers are not bad people.
Laquan McDonald was armed with a knife. Accusations from the officer attempt to persuade the public that the suspect was charging at him. Given, video evidence of this case suggests against most accusations placed. Even if the evidence sided with the officer, is there justification for firing 5 shots? What about 16? These officers are trained, one would suspect that they are skilled enough to shoot the legs or the hand wielding the weapon of the assailant. I am not suggesting by any means that this individual was innocent by any means.
Along with this case comes a number of others of the liking from the very same police department. Chicago PD seemingly attempted to hide this case from the spotlight as long as possible. “No person, no sane human being who’s lived in this city, no sane human being, looks at this situation and thinks there weren’t people who knew a lot and refused to divulge it,” said Mariame Kaba, a member of the Chicago-based activist group We Charge Genocide. “That, to me, is a cover-up.”
The sketchy actions by local governments concerning police activity are what is ultimately under question here. I am not against police acting accordingly to a situation, they have one of the toughest jobs in today’s society. I am against covering up said actions. If a police department covers up its actions, that tells me their practice is flawed.