Chicago braces for release of police shooting video

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago braces for release of police shooting video.

CHICAGO (AP) — The latest on the upcoming release of a video that is said to show a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times last year (all times local): Ministers who met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to discuss the upcoming release of a police shooting video say he won’t confirm when the footage might be released or whether a decision to indict the officer has been made. Now, after months of requests from local reporters and activists, a Cook County judge has ordered the Chicago Police Department to release the dash cam footage of McDonald’s last moments by Thursday, and the city is preparing itself for potential unrest. McDonald was killed after police responded to reports of attempted car break-ins in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood, Jeremy Gorner of the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this year. Two ministers invited to meet with Emanuel said they think the mayor will solicit their help in preventing the kind of unrest seen in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, after the killings of young black men by police in those cities.

But Van Dyke will stay on the job — although he was stripped of his police powers and has been placed on desk duty — because his due-process rights protect him from being unilaterally fired by police Supt. Levine reports we may not actually see the video, which the city wanted to release tomorrow, until Wednesday, giving the state’s attorney time to act, and people time to react to the indictment before they see the video. Officers tried to isolate him from bystanders with two squad cars, but he reportedly punctured a tire on one of the squad cars and damaged a front windshield. He said Emanuel told activists that police “have a responsibility to uphold the law” and “must never abuse it.” Thayer said Emanuel did not take questions, though participants were told ahead of the call that he would.

Van Dyke’s attorney has said the video of the shooting is “graphic” and “difficult to watch,” but doesn’t prove his client violated the law. When the department finally denied Smith’s request on August 4, it cited the ongoing investigation over McDonald’s death, adding that the video’s release would prevent a jury in Van Dyke’s case from being impartial. The city agency examines every police-involved shooting, but it put the case on hold while the U.S. attorney and Cook County state’s attorney conducted a joint investigation into whether the officer committed a crime.

According to an account of the video McDonald family attorney Jeffrey Neslund gave Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, McDonald, whose autopsy showed he was using PCP at the time, is not shown running or lunging at the officers but is instead walking away. Unusual in that high profile politicians like Ed Burke, Dorothy Brown and Tony Preckwinkle were there, as was one of Alvarez’ challengers, Kim Foxx. “As we await the release of the videotape showing the killing of Laquan McDonald, the Chicago Urban League is calling for calm and mutual respect. The FBI and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office are investigating the shooting, and an announcement on state or federal charges could come as soon as this week. Police had said they were pursuing McDonald after receiving a 911 call from someone who said that a knife-wielding man had threatened him and appeared to be trying to break into cars. While we understand the feelings of outrage, distrust, and fear that stem from the growing imposition of violence by police officers who are sworn to protect and serve – we are asking the community to await a thorough and transparent review of the evidence and facts to ensure justice is served.

Anthony Abbate, the Chicago cop whose beating of a female bartender was captured on a notorious video, was fired on the board’s recommendation in 2009 — more than two years after the 2007 attack and months after he was convicted of aggravated battery. Roderick Sawyer (6th), chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, said what many people were thinking last week after a judge ordered the video released: “We need an explanation as to why Officer Jason Van Dyke, who killed Mr. This is the discussion on which we need to focus.” “Getting ahead of it, and making sure that we present to the mayor what we expect to happen, I think that’s critical if we’re going to prevent violence from happening in our neighborhoods,” said Rev. He acknowledged there is a “process that must be followed” before an accused officer can be fired, and said he needs to understand what that process is as outlined by the union contract.

As previously reported, police officers generally tend to exhibit a higher bias against black people, making officers more likely to shoot black suspects than white ones. Brooks and other ministers and activists met with the mayor Wednesday afternoon to discuss how tamp down the potential for violence after the video is released. Maybe our focus would then be on the state’s attorney.” Lawyers with the state’s attorney’s office have been closely working with federal authorities on the investigation. The mayor, who won a second term in April, has faced criticism from some activists for doing too little to address distrust in the African-American community about the police department.

In the meantime, to keep tabs on officers as well as the public they serve, the use of police vehicle dash cams and body cameras has been on the rise. There’s no particular reason their investigation has lasted more than a year without charges, except that federal authorities have been “methodical,” sources said. The department agreed in August to begin tracking all street stops of citizens by its officers and improve training procedures after an ACLU study showed that 72% of “stop-and-frisk” searches in the city were conducted on African-American men.

Naturally, there is the human factor of manipulation of dash cameras and body cameras; the equipment must be turned on to capture the action, after all. As a result, the city’s Independent Police Review Authority promptly sent this case and the evidence to state and federal prosecutors who have been investigating it for almost a year,” he said in a prepared statement last week. “The first shot or two seem to spin him on the ground. Bystander footage can also be manipulated or edited, but on the whole, capturing such footage has been the difference between someone like former North Charleston, South Carolina, officer Michael Slager — who initially claimed he shot Walter Scott this year because Scott grabbed his Taser — going free or being held responsible for his actions, since his initial claims were dispelled by bystander footage.

Steez noted that Emanuel closed 50 schools in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods during his first term, and was slow to respond after a group of residents went on a hunger strike this summer over a plan, now partially reversed, to close a high school in a predominantly African-American neighborhood on the city’s southeast side. “We don’t have faith that the same man who would allow people to starve for 34 days over a school closing will be accountable,” Steez said in an interview. At least 18 citizen complaints have been filed against the 37-year-old Van Dyke in his 14-year career, but he was never disciplined, according to a University of Chicago database. Chicago is already girding for possible unrest, ordering hundreds of extra plainclothes officers to don their uniforms in preparation for the video’s release. In addition to a $5.5 million fund, the city made a public apology to the victims and has set up counseling services for victims and immediate family members.

While a majority of the 12,000 CPD officers have been flagged for fewer than two overall misconduct complaints, 662 police officers were repeat offenders, individually cited for 10 or more complaints each. Members of Black Lives Matter Chicago are circulating a petition for the 25-year-old who was shot by Chicago Police detective George Hernandez about a week before McDonald was shot. According to the group, Johnson was unarmed, though CPD said officers were responding to calls for an alleged shooter. “Chicago, of course, is highly segregated,” Smith told Vox Friday. “When policing is done in communities of color, it’s done in a much different manner than it’s done in white communities. The data on police complaints supports that. … It’s so easy for people in responsibly policed communities to think, ‘That happens over there,’ and to not advocate for reform.

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