Chicago releases new videos from scene of Laquan McDonald’s shooting

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Newly-released videos from four police cars at the scene of Laquan McDonald’s shooting are providing additional details on the killing of the 17-year-old in Chicago last year.

The new dashboard camera videos include one from the car Jason Van Dyke was in, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Van Dyke, a Chicago police officer, shot McDonald 16 times on a city street, and was charged with first-degree murder this week.

The Tribune said the latest videos were on DVDs that it obtained from the city following an open records request.

New videos

One video shows a car, which the paper described as the squad car Van Dyke was in, jumping a curb to pursue the teen through a lawn.

In two other videos, two police cars near the scene are dispatched to control traffic, according to the paper.

Another video at the scene did not start recording until it was near an ambulance, the paper said.

No audio or conversations among officers is heard in the videos, but sirens hiss in the background of some of them.

Outrage, protests

The first dash-cam video showing McDonald’s killing in October last year was released Tuesday, sending protesters to the streets of Chicago this week.

Paul Callan, a criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst, expressed shock it took so long to release the video.

Even more surprising, he said, is why prosecutors took so long to file charges.

“Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald,” President Barack Obama said in a statement Wednesday.

“This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor. And I’m personally grateful to the people of my hometown for keeping protests peaceful,” Obama said.

Demonstrators have peacefully marched through the Loop, a major downtown business district in Chicago.

16 shots in 15 seconds

The video released Tuesday shows McDonald running, then walking on a street. He heads toward some police cars with flashing lights, then veers away. It’s then that he appears to spin around and falls, brought down by a barrage of bullets. There were 16 shots fired over 15 seconds, all by Van Dyke.

“The video clearly shows Laquan walking away and he was not threatening anybody and he certainly didn’t lunge at the police officer. This was originally presented as an act of self-defense,” an attorney for McDonald’s family told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“And that was a lie,” Mike Robbins said. “The video is clearly an indication that this was an unnecessary shooting.”

Officer feared for his life, lawyer says

The officer’s lawyer, Daniel Q. Herbert, said the video doesn’t tell the full story. His client, he said, feared for his life and that of fellow officers.

“Video by nature is two-dimensional and it distorts images,” Herbert said.

“So what appears to be clear on a video sometimes is not always that clear.”

Others say the teen was never a danger to the officers.

McDonald had a 3-inch knife and, according to toxicology tests, had PCP in his system. But he wasn’t within 10 feet of anyone at the time the shots rang out. Several other officers were at the scene, and none fired any shots.

Herbert has said his client was closest to McDonald, and in the most vulnerable position.

Van Dyke had been on site less than 30 seconds, and out of his car for six seconds, when he started shooting, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said.

National conversation

The shooting rekindled the national conversation on the police treatment of African-Americans.

The deaths of people like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York — both after confrontations with white police officers — have spurred protests nationwide under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Van Dyke, who is white, violated “the highest professional standards” that thousands of Chicago police live up to every day.

CNN’s Ed Payne, Dana Ford and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

Faith Karimi and Greg Botelho


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