Last year, Chicago police pulled off an “execution style” shooting on 17-year-old Black teen Laquan McDonald as he was running away from the officers.
No one has ever seen this incident because the Chicago Police Department illegally withheld the video from the public. A judge recently ordered that they rectify the situation immediately.
Via Raw Story:
Chicago’s mayor said on Thursday he will release video footage of the October 2014 fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old black teenager and not fight a judge’s order to make the video public.
Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by a police officer, including multiple times in the back. Police said he was lunging at them with a knife, but a lawyer who has seen the video says it shows McDonald moving away from the police with a knife in his hand.
McDonald’s death came at a time of heated national debate and protests over police use of lethal force, especially against blacks.
Freelance journalist Brandon Smith sued the police after they denied his request for the video under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, and a judge decided in Smith’s favor on Thursday.
“Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents. In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
In April, Chicago agreed to pay $5 million in civil damages to McDonald’s family, which had been exploring filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Emanuel said the city will release the video by Nov. 25, the deadline set on Thursday by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Franklin Valderrama. Earlier the city had indicated it would appeal the case. The mayor said he expected prosecutors to quickly conclude their year-long investigation of the case.
The Chicago Police Department had said releasing the video could taint ongoing Illinois state and federal investigations of the officer, whose identity and race have not been disclosed by the department.
In an 18-page ruling, Valderrama said the police could not apply an exemption to Freedom of Information Act rules.
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