Chicago Set for Protests Over Shooting by the Police

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago Set for Protests Over Shooting by the Police.

CHICAGO — For months, leaders here watched as other cities faced angry demonstrations over police conduct, shootings and relations with black people, often captured in painful videos. Any day now, you will see a dashcam video showing the officer pumping 16 bullets into the teenager and can judge for yourself the right or the wrong of the matter.A Cook County judge has ordered the Chicago Police Department to release dashcam video of a white police officer shooting and killing a black teenager on the city’s South Side last year.Behind the scenes, officials are meeting to determine the timing of the release of the police dash-cam footage and putting plans in place in deal with the public’s reaction. As cities like Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and New York have been consumed by fatal encounters involving the local police that have fueled national attention since 2014, this city managed to keep a lower profile.

The video reportedly shows 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke, including multiple shots fired after McDonald had been knocked to the ground. Within hours of the ruling, city officials first requested a stay of the decision pending an appeal, then reversed course, saying it would release the video before Thanksgiving. Twice, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removed him from his mother’s care — once when he was 2 years old and again when he was 5 — because of abuse allegations leveled at the mother’s boyfriend.

Even the officer’s lawyer has described the video, which the city sought for months to block from public view, as “graphic” and “violent” and “difficult to watch at some points.” With the memories of discord in other cities so fresh, leaders in Chicago, which has a history of tension over race and policing, have been holding urgent private talks with community activists. As is too often the case, McDonald was allegedly sexually molested in two different foster homes, according to a source familiar with his juvenile court record. Some call it an execution. “He firmly believed he was in fear for his life and concerned about the life of his fellow officers,” said attorney Dan Herbert, adding the McDonald was close enough to Van Dyke to justify the shooting. “There is this 21-foot rule,” Herbert said. “It talks about how an individual is a significant threat to police officer when they’re in that 21-foot boundary.” Police have said McDonald was under the influence of PCP, and slashing the tires of several cars with a 4-inch folding knife, when he refused police officers’ orders to drop the weapon. 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.” Emanuel said earlier this week that should give federal and Cook County prosecutors “time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal.” Meanwhile, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is facing a primary challenge. It was a pretty upsetting thing.” “We were making great strides with this kid,” said a social worker, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because she isn’t authorized to speak to reporters. “We had started to turn this kid around.

After the summer job ended, he went out and found another job.” “Laquan came in with one of our programs that deals with wards of the state,” said Thomas Gattuso, principal of Sullivan House, a 40-year-old alternative school that Gattusso says shouldn’t be confused with a school for troubled youth. “We give students a second chance., a chance they didn’t have. They said the department did not have the legal right to withhold the video because other agencies including the FBI are the ones investigating, not Chicago police. Dan Herbert, a lawyer for Officer Van Dyke, said his client believed the shooting was justified because he feared for the safety of himself and his colleagues. They want to be here. “What struck me the most is that Laquan came to school all the time,” Gattuso said. “He probably would have graduated within a year and a half.” Unfortunately, all that most people have heard about McDonald is that he had PCP in his system that night he was shot and that he was carrying a small knife. “The incident is horrible on so many levels.

The upcoming holidays have made their burden even heavier, Williams said in a phone interview. “It’s the holiday season, depression is kicking in. The officers were approaching him, officials said, after the police got a report that a man with a knife was trying to break into vehicles in a trucking yard. If Laquan had shot the policeman 16 times, he wouldn’t have been at a desk job 13 months later.” The police officer who shot the teen hasn’t been charged with any crime. Since Thursday, when a judge ordered the video’s release and set a deadline of Wednesday, many in this city have begun speculating over how and exactly when the release will occur, and what may follow.

Like the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Rekia Boyd before him, McDonald’s death will become part of the symbolic mosaic for the “Black Lives Matter” anti-police brutality movement. And then nobody from the city of Chicago, elected officials or even pastors, want to sit down with you because they’re scared to be seen as supporting you. Former federal prosecutor Phil Turner said Van Dyke could be charged with violating McDonald’s civil rights — a charge that, because the teen died, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. County prosecutors could charge the officer with a host of crimes, including murder, but Turner said if Van Dyke is charged in federal court that the county would be prohibited from charging him as well.

Page May, an organizer with We Charge Genocide, a Chicago group that has accused the police here of systemic misconduct, said she expected the video to awaken more people to what she saw as widespread police abuses. Neslund said the teen’s mother fears it could lead to protests like ones in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, that sometimes grew violent after deaths of black suspects by police in those communities. Marshall Hatch, a prominent minister on the city’s West Side, said residents are angered by the department’s attempt to keep the public from seeing the video. McDonald’s family has expressed reluctance. “The folks that are going to get woke because of this video, we need to welcome them, organize them,” Ms.

But since then, some have questioned the way police have dealt with protest groups, including whether they have infiltrated such groups or used high-tech equipment to monitor protesters and make it more difficult for them to communicate with each other. Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the police department, issued a statement: “As you have seen over the past few years, C.P.D. works tirelessly to protect people’s First Amendment rights, and residents of Chicago have exercised those rights in a peaceful way.” “I know it’s a national disgraceful situation, and it will attract people around the country,” Mr.

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