Monday, November 23, 2015

Chicago Braces for Potential Unrest: Video to Be Released of Copper Shooting Knife Wielding Youth

Laquan McDonald was walking down a Chicago street the night of October 20, 2014, carrying a four-inch knife and behaving erratically. Tests show he was on PCP.

A police officer told him to drop the knife. He didn't listen, and the officer fired on him out of fear for his life, according to a police union spokesman.

McDonald, 17, died.

The big problem: He was shot 16 times.

The officer who shot McDonald, Jason Van Dyke, has not faced charges and still works for the police department in a "limited duty position."

Now, more than a year later, CNN reports, the public will be able to see what happened.

Last week Thursday, a judge in Chicago ordered the city to release no later than November 25 the police dashcam video that shows the shooting. For months, the city has fought attempts to have the video released to the public, saying it could jeopardize any ongoing investigation.

According to CNN, Almost everyone who has seen the video says the images are graphic and show McDonald being repeatedly shot while lying on the ground. The video reportedly shows McDonald's body palpitating quickly several times, consistent with shots striking. Even defense attorneys for the officer involved admit the video is not easy to watch.

"The video is graphic, disturbing and difficult to watch, as any video of a man being shot to death would be," Daniel Herbert, the officer's attorney, told the Chicago Tribune.

Thursday's decision was the result of a Freedom of Information Act request filed earlier this year by freelance journalist Brandon Smith. Smith's attorneys applauded the decision.

The city has already reached a settlement with McDonald's family, agreeing in April to pay $5 million, though the family had not filed a lawsuit.

John Kass, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, said the video "could tear Chicago apart."



  1. 16 shots (probably more cause he's a cop and probably missed a few times - figure > 20 shots). I'm guessing he had 9 mm or larger. What magazine holds 16 rounds ? Did he stop and reload? Wow.

  2. Most full frame 9mm pistols, that I'm familiar with, have a double stack 16 round magazine plus one round in the chamber for a total of 17 rounds before reloading is necessary.