Burger King: Chicago shooting video altered

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Burger King: Shooting video of Chicago teen altered by police, says BK manager.

A Burger King manager who accuses Chicago police of erasing surveillance video in the case of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager shot 16 times last year by a white officer, says he has testified before a federal grand jury investigating the shooting.As the shocking video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald is played worldwide, other footage from the scene that night has gone missing. When the police left the restaurant almost two hours later, the video had an inexplicable 86-minute gap that included when McDonald was shot, according to Darshane.

According to AOL News, an attorney for McDonald’s family said a a group of officers examined the footage, and more than an hour of the clip was gone thereafter. “A police detective and a technician went into the Burger King…and the Burger King employees, including the manager, looked at the video, and found about 83 minutes of video that were missing, which included the time the shooting occurred,” he said. The video released on Tuesday shows McDonald jogging down a street and then veering away from Van Dyke and another officer who emerge from a police SUV, drawing their guns. After Cook County prosecutors charged Van Dyke with first-degree murder on Tuesday, federal prosecutors disclosed their probe of the fatal shooting remains “active and ongoing.” While the restaurant’s surveillance system likely wouldn’t have caught the shooting itself, at least two cameras positioned to face the restaurant’s parking lot and drive-through lane may have captured McDonald’s movements in the critical moments before Van Dyke opened fire, according to lawyers for McDonald’s family. Robbins believes the missing footage could have included police interaction with witness after the shooting, as well as served to clarify that McDonald did not lunge toward any officers at the time he was shot.

Though many observers feared trouble in Chicago akin to that recently in similar cases in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, no such problems flared up. State Attorney Anita Alvarez and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have cited “technical difficulties” as the reason for the lost video. “There were apparently technical difficulties,” McCarthy said. “But in no way, shape or form is there any evidence that anything was tampered with, and I think [Alvarez] covered that.”

In Van Dyke’s grand jury trial, the Chicago chief of police and the Cook County state attorney have both denied altering any Burger King video surveillance. “I was just trying to help the police with their investigation,” Darshane said in his testimony, according to The Associated Press. “I didn’t know they were going to delete it.” Adds the AP report, via Yahoo News: “It’s not clear what that video might have shown, but the accusation of tampering has fueled the anger of protesters who say the city, the police and local prosecutors have mishandled the case. His attorney has said Van Dyke feared for his life when he fired at McDonald and that the case should be tried in the courtroom, not in social media or on the streets. A day later, in response to an open records request from the Tribune, the city released four other dash-cam videos from the incident, including one from the squad car that Van Dyke was riding in that night. The videos, including the one from Van Dyke’s vehicle, did not include any audio of officers talking, either in the vehicles or over police radios, raising questions about why sirens outside the vehicles could be heard but voices inside the vehicle could not. Darshane said the restaurant’s assistant manager called him that night saying about four or five police officers were inside demanding the password to access the surveillance video.

The officers stayed on the scene until almost midnight and even brought in their own information technology specialist when it appeared they were having trouble operating the system, Darshane said. Robbins said several citizens who witnessed McDonald’s shooting reported that officers ordered them to leave the scene under threat of arrest without ever interviewing them.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on the federal probe of McDonald’s shooting beyond its brief statement released Tuesday, but Scott Ando, IPRA’s chief administrator, said Wednesday that no citizens later complained to IPRA about their treatment by the police that night.

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