Chicago might be the next city to be hit by protests against police brutality. Several media outlets are reporting a judge has ordered the release of a video showing a Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The video shows McDonald walking away from police while holding a knife, when he was shot multiple times by Officer Jason Van Dyke. One witness said Van Dyke fired 13 shots when McDonald was down. According to The Daily Beast, Judge Franklin Valderrama has ordered the video to be released on Nov. 25.
Reportedly that Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would not fight the judge’s decision.
“As a result, the city’s Independent Police Review Authority promptly sent this case and the evidence to state and federal prosecutors who have been investigating it for almost a year,” said Emanuel in a statement released Thursday. “In accordance with the judge’s ruling the city will release the video by Nov, 25, which we hope will provide prosecutors time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal.”
However, even Emanuel admitted the video doesn’t make the police look good.
“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,” he said.
The video is so shocking that the city quickly paid McDonald’s family a $5 million settlement and barred lawyers from seeing it. The video is being released because Chicago journalist Brandon Smith filed a FOIA request. However, it’s missing several minutes of footage. Lawyers for the McDonald family claim police deleted 86 minutes of video.
According to The Daily Beast, many people fear Chicago will face riots when people see the video. Jeffrey Neslund, an attorney representing the McDonald family, told the Chicago Sun-Times he fears the release of the video will be followed by violent protests.
“I met with [McDonald’s mother] and Laquan’s uncle,” Neslund said, “and he was really concerned. He didn’t want to see their neighborhood burned.”
Lorenzo Davis, a former Chicago police commander and whistleblower, said the video was disturbing to watch.
“I have not seen the video,” he said. “But I’ve talked to people who have seen it, and they were horrified by what they saw. Grown men were brought to tears.”