A white Chicago police official, Jason Van Dyke who shot a black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times last year was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday hours before the city issued the video of the assassination. The footage taken from the camera of the police car shows the officer shooting Laquan McDonald who police say had a knife.
The video shows 17-year-old McDonald jogging away from police vehicles following him from behind and then deviating crosswise at a walk as two more police officers pull up in a car before him. Two Policemen are seen jumping out of the car in the middle of the road, taking out their guns and advancing towards the teenager, who keeps on moving afar. Then almost instantly one officer seems to shoot, McDonald who spins and crumples on the ground, moving now and then. As the cop continues firing, at least two puffs of smoke are seen coming out of his body, an officer is seen kicking something out of the teenager’s hand in the final stages of the video. The applicable portion of the video runs for less than 40 seconds and is without sound. Authorities say McDonald had a hallucinogen PCP in his system and was carrying a 3-inch pocket knife with its blade folded into the handle when he was shot down on Oct 20, 2014.
Jason Van Dyke’s lawyers and a police union said shootout was valid as the official felt threatened by the teenager. Prosecutors told police officer shot within 30 seconds of arriving and after 6 seconds after coming out from his vehicle, depleting his magazine. The teenager was shot by 16 bullets, all from Jason Van Dyke’s gun. Van Dyke is the first cop in decades to be charged with murder for an on-duty event. Laquan Mcdonald’s casualty came when there is a fierce controversy going on the overuse of lethal force by police, exclusively against minorities. The city settled for a $5 million compensation with McDonald’s family even before relatives could file a litigation.
The judge decreed that the video is made public by Wednesday, Police chief, and the Mayor asked for calm before it was released, anticipating disturbance the way it happened in the cities like Missouri, Baltimore and Ferguson after police killed young black men there. Immediately after the video came out in open, people started marching in the city. Hundreds of them stalled traffic on the West Side, some encircled police cars, chanting “16 shots”. Laquan McDonald’s family appealed for calm so did city authorities and black community leaders. Rev. Jesse Jackson, a preeminent civil rights activist said he desired to witness “massive” but peaceful demonstrations.