Strange video but the shooting actually occurs at the 5:20 mark. Decide for yourself.
Demonstrators took to the streets of this city’s downtown in tense but largely peaceful protests after the release of video on Tuesday showing the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white Chicago police officer.
Into the early morning hours of Wednesday, protesters led clusters of police officers on a march through the streets of Chicago’s Loop, blocking intersections, chanting outside a police station and, along a major road to the city’s largest highways, unfurling a banner that cited deaths at the hands of the police.
The night of protest followed a day of fast-moving events: first-degree murder charges against the officer, Jason Van Dyke, in the shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17, and, hours later, the release of graphic video from a police dashboard camera of the 2014 shooting, which a judge had ordered the city to make public by Wednesday.
In a period that has seen sometimes – violent unrest over police conduct in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, some in Chicago seemed relieved by the relative calm. “While on the whole last night’s demonstrations were peaceful, a few isolated incidents resulted in five arrests related to resisting arrest and assaulting police officers,” a police spokesman said on Wednesday.
Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with the murder of Laquan McDonald, arrived at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday.
See court document here:
Still, some community leaders have called for more demonstrations here, including a boycott and protest on Friday, the post-Thanksgiving shopping day, of this city’s famed shopping district along North Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile.
The grainy, nighttime dashboard camera video, which a judge ordered released last week, shows the young man running and then walking past officers in the middle of the street and spinning when bullets suddenly strike him down. For a moment, lying on the ground, he moves but then is still after he appears to be shot several more times. An officer kicks an object away from his body. The video shows none of the officers on the scene offering Mr. McDonald assistance.
Standing with community leaders before releasing the video, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Garry McCarthy, the Chicago police superintendent, said they expected demonstrations in response to the graphic nature of the video, and urged people to avoid violence. “It’s fine to be passionate, but it is essential that it remain peaceful,” Mr. Emanuel said.
A memorial for Laquan McDonald, 17, and other victims at a school in Chicago in April.
Officer Van Dyke, 37, who has been with the Police Department for 14 years, is the first Chicago police officer in decades to be charged with murder in an on-duty shooting. The city previously fought to keep the video private, citing a continuing investigation into the shooting.
Officer Van Dyke was charged and the video released just over a year after Mr. McDonald was shot 16 times, even after he had stepped slightly away from the officer, prosecutors said. Witnesses said Mr. McDonald, who was carrying a three-inch folding knife, never spoke to Officer Van Dyke or any of the other officers and did not make threatening moves toward him. None of at least seven other police officers on the scene fired their weapons.
The N.A.A.C.P., on Twitter, called it “unacceptable” that it took over a year for the video to be released.
The family of Mr. McDonald, which had opposed the video’s release, issued a statement through its lawyers calling for calm. “No one understands the anger more than us, but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful,” the family said. “Don’t resort to violence in Laquan’s name. Let his legacy be better than that.”
In announcing the murder charge, Anita Alvarez, the Cook County state’s attorney, acknowledged that she had pushed to charge the officer before the video became public. “I made a decision to come forward first because I felt like, with the release of this video, that it’s really important for public safety that the citizens of Chicago know that this officer is being held accountable for his actions,” Ms. Alvarez said.
Since late last year, the shooting has been investigated by a team that included the F.B.I., the United States attorney’s office in Chicago and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. But Ms. Alvarez said she decided to proceed with charges on her own when the videotape was ordered released. Federal charges are still possible, legal experts said, and the federal authorities said their investigation was continuing.
Dan Herbert, a lawyer for the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald, held a news conference in Chicago on Friday.
Mr. Herbert has said Officer Jason Van Dyke feared for his safety.
Ms. Alvarez, a two-term Democrat who is seeking re-election in March, defended herself against suggestions that the investigation had taken too long, saying investigations into police shootings often take more than a year. And she rejected claims that she had buckled to political pressure by filing the charges before the video came out, saying she had reached a conclusion several weeks ago that charges were warranted.
Hours before the video’s release, a judge, Donald Panarese Jr., ordered Officer Van Dyke held without bail, indicating that he wanted to see the video before revisiting the question of bond at a hearing on Monday. Officer Van Dyke faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.
Dan Herbert, a lawyer for Officer Van Dyke, has said the officer believed the shooting was justified because he feared for his safety and that of other officers. Mr. Herbert said his client “absolutely” intended to go to trial. Dressed in a beige sweater and jeans, Mr. Van Dyke said little during the brief hearing.
The charges and the release of the video came amid a national debate over race, police shootings and a growing number of violent encounters with the police captured on video. Chicago’s police force has its own sometimes painful history, which by some estimates includes more than $500 million in settlements and other costs over the last decade tied to police misconduct as well as reparations for black residents who said a group of officers abused and tortured them in the 1970s and ’80s.
In April, the city agreed to pay $5 million to the McDonald family, even before a suit had been filed in the case.
On the evening of Oct. 20, 2014, police officers approached Mr. McDonald on the city’s Southwest Side, prosecutors said, after a resident reported seeing him breaking into trucks and stealing radios. Mr. McDonald, who had the folding knife in his hand, walked away as officers arrived. Someone called for a police unit with a stun gun, though it was not clear whether anyone ever appeared with one. At one point, Mr. McDonald “popped” the tire on a police car, apparently with his knife, the prosecutors said.
An autopsy report noting the gunshot wounds to Laquan McDonald, 17, who was fatally shot in October 2014.
According to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, he was shot 16 times.
With more officers arriving car by car, Mr. McDonald kept walking and jogging along, not responding to orders to drop the knife, prosecutors said. Near a Burger King along a busy stretch of Pulaski Road, Officer Van Dyke’s marked Chevrolet Tahoe pulled up alongside other police vehicles, including one containing a dashboard camera. Officer Van Dyke was on the scene for fewer than 30 seconds, prosecutors said, before he began shooting his service weapon, which had a 16-round capacity.
The shooting spanned 14 or 15 seconds, and in about 13 of those seconds, prosecutors say, Mr. McDonald was lying on the ground. He was hit 16 times, including in his backside. An autopsy showed the presence of the drug PCP in his system.
For months, the city had refused to release the video. On Thursday, Franklin Valderrama, a Cook County judge, ordered it released. The city initially indicated that it would appeal, but Mr. Emanuel then announced that Chicago would release the video, and he issued a statement condemning Officer Van Dyke’s actions and calling for prosecutors to take prompt action.
Demonstrators blocked an intersection in Chicago after the video was released on Tuesday.
“In accordance with the judge’s ruling, the city will release the video by Nov. 25, which we hope will provide prosecutors time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal,” Mr. Emanuel said last week. On Monday, he met privately with community leaders and pastors.
Officer Van Dyke has worked as a Chicago police officer since June 2001, records show. He had been on administrative duty pending the investigation, and on Tuesday was placed on no-pay status because of the criminal charge, Mr. McCarthy said.