Horrific. That’s the only way to describe video of a Chicago Police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times, even though his initial gunfire already took down the youth. The incredibly disturbing video was released Nov. 24 and is sure to escalate racial tensions in the Windy City.
Absolutely shocking! This shooting video is something the Chicago Police never wanted us to see, and fought hard for over a year to keep under raps. It shows officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, with many of the shots at point blank range as the teen was already lying in the street. C.P.D. and city officials had fought the tape’s release for over a year, but after it was made public on Nov. 24, Jason became the first on-duty member of the force to be charged with first degree murder.
Simply awful. The video was taken via the dashboard camera of an officer responding to the scene the night of Oct. 20, 2014. Laquan is seen walking down the middle of the street, not posing a threat, while two officers can be seen with their service weapons drawn on the teen. As the car parks, the camera stabilizes on Laquan, who is seen briefly walking away from officers before being hit with a barrage of bullets. Even though he was taken down by the initial shots, Jason shot him a total of 16 times, even when he was already lying on the ground!
WARNING, The video below is graphic in content.
The NAACP immediately responded, “The attack on #LaquanMcDonald was horrific and justice cannot go unserved. His family & the community deserve action,” as protestors took to the streets on the evening of Nov. 24 chanting “16 shots,” the number of bullets that the officer fired into Laquan.
The officer claimed Laquan was armed with a 3-inch knife when he was confronted. The teen did not comply with “numerous police orders to drop the knife,” Jason’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, told the Chicago Tribune. His lawyer went on to defend Jason’s actions as he “believed he was in fear for an attack and for the safety of anyone else on the scene.”
But Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez felt otherwise and announced that, “It is my determination that this defendant’s actions — of shooting Laquan McDonald when he did not pose an immediate threat of great bodily harm or death, and his subsequent actions of shooting Laquan McDonald while he lay on the ground after previously being struck by gunfire — were not justified and they were not a proper use of deadly force by this police officer.” Jason is being held without bail in a Chicago jail.
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