The October police shooting death of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald has resulted in a passionate response from city activists seeking justice and elected officials hoping to ease tensions. However, dash cam footage from the Chicago Police Department appears to challenge the accounts made by officers surrounding the event.
As reported by CNN, new documents list out accounts made by police on the scene of the shooting and highlight heavy contrasts to what appeared on the dash cam video. Further, it also showed how strongly CPD officers banded together behind Jason Van Dyke to stick their version of events despite the evidence proving otherwise.
The dashcam video shows McDonald walking down South Pulaski Road with a knife in his hand, but strolling away from officers when Van Dyke jumps out of his vehicle and pulls his gun. Van Dyke began firing six seconds after arriving on scene and took 15 seconds to fire 16 shots.
In those moments, shortly before he is shot, McDonald never faces Van Dyke. He spins after being shot and crumples to the ground, his body stiff as he falls. Van Dyke continues to fire, unloading every round from his 9-mm Smith & Wesson handgun. The teen was struck by all 16 bullets, most of them while he was limp on the ground.
The teen was accused posthumously of aggravated assault of four officers, including Van Dyke. One police record said Van Dyke was “injured by offender” but provided no further detail.
The police records showed dashcam videos were recovered from at least two police vehicles, including Van Dyke’s, and “found to be consistent with the accounts of all of the witnesses.”
The videos were downloaded for investigators within 24 hours after the shooting.
Recordings from five vehicles were released to the public last month, including the primary dashcam video that shows the shooting, and has led to protests. The city had fought the release for 13 months and only relinquished after a judge ordered its release.
While there is no video available of McDonald’s encounter with police earlier in the evening, there has been a series of news reports that suggest police took extreme measures to erase video evidence featuring that manner of footage from the nearby Burger King..
No real determination has been made about the accounts and the timing of events, but CNN added that it appears police were speaking on the moments just before McDonald was gunned down on Oct. 20.
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