Protests across Chicago: Video of white cop killing black teen, shooting him 16 times

Chilling dashcam footage showing a white cop shooting dead a black teenager sparked protests across Chicago after it was made public on Tuesday.

The shocking video shows officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on the night of October 20 last year. The police officer continues to fire at point-blank range for 13 seconds as the young man lies motionless on the ground, smoke rising from his back.

Van Dyke, who initially claimed he had felt threatened by the teenager, was charged with first-degree murder.

Within hours of the video’s release, hundreds of protesters had taken to the streets, chanting ’16 shots’ and forming human blockades across roads in the city’s West Side. Other demonstrators gathered outside police stations as at least two people were arrested in connection to the protests.

The video shows McDonald, who is armed with a small knife, walking away from police officers moments before his death on October 20 last year.

He was reportedly told to drop the knife but it is hard to tell if that is the case as there is no sound on the video.

Police had also said McDonald had threatened them with a knife and slashed at the tires and windshield of a patrol car.

Van Dyke then opens fire and keeps shooting after the teen falls to the ground. The teenager’s previously released autopsy report showed that he was shot at least twice in his back.

It also showed that there was PCP in his system at the time of his death.

The officer had been on the scene for less than 30 seconds after he opened fire according to reports, and was the only person to shoot his weapon, emptying his 9 mm pistol and even going to reload.

After McDonald’s body lays dead on the road, Van Dyke then walks over and kicks the knife out of the teenager’s hand.

Police had arrived after reports that someone had been breaking into cars and stealing stereos and also trying to break into a trucking yard with a knife.

There were eight police officers on the scene when McDonald was shot.

In addition to fighting the release of this dashcam video, it has also been widely reported that police deleted footage of the shooting from a nearby Burger King’s surveillance camera.

Burger King District manager Jay Darshane even admitted that police had tampered with their video.

Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder of Monday and turned himself in around 7.30pm, over a year after the shooting occurred.

He is the first Chicago police officer to ever be charged with murder while on duty.

He had been on paid administrative duty prior to this and many are outraged over how long it took to charge the officer.

Van Dyke, 37, was denied bail at a hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

The New York Times obtained a copy of some of the complaints that have been filed against Van Dyke over the years, including that he used racial slurs, choked a suspect and once pointed a gun at a suspect for no reason.

He was never disciplined for any of these complaints, or for an incident in 2007 when a jury awarded a man $350,000 that the city was forced to pay after Van Dyke was accused of using excessive force on the man while handcuffing him.

On Tuesday morning his wife Tiffany set up a Go Fund me page hoping to raise $80,000 for her husband’s defense fund.

‘He is a highly decorated and respected officer,’ she wrote of her husband on the page.

‘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 trial.

‘We want him to be home with his family as we go through this judicial process. My family is in need of your help very quickly.

‘My husband is having a bond hearing and if we do not raise the money he will be detained on 11/24/15.

‘With the holidays approaching our husband and father needs to be home with his family.’

Within hours the page had managed to raise over $10,000 before it was taken down by the site.

A spokesperson said all money had been refunded as the site prohibits any and all fundraising for the ‘defense of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity.’

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Monday that cases involving police officers present ‘highly complex’ legal issues and she would rather take the time to get it right than ‘rush to judgment.’

She also said of the dashcam video prior to its release on Monday; ‘It is graphic. It is violent. It is chilling.’

She also said; ‘I’ve been a prosecutor for nearly 30 years. I have personally investigated and prosecuted numerous cases of police misconduct and public corruption, I’ve been involved in hundreds of murder investigations and trials, and I’ve seen some of the most violent and graphic evidence and crime scene photos that you can only imagine.

‘To watch a 17-year-old young man die in such a violent manner is simply disturbing and I have absolutely no doubt that this video will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans.’

McDonald’s family did not want the video released to the public, but a journalist filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

The family reportedly received a $5million settlement from the police department without even filing a lawsuit after the shooting.

Many are now bracing themselves for protests and demonstrations across the city.

Mayor Emanuel said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon; ‘Anyone who is there to uphold the law cannot act as though they are above the law. Jason Van Dyke does not represent the police department.’

He then added; ‘Will we use this episode in this moment to build bridges, or will we allow this episode to tear us apart?’

Source: DailyMail

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