Judge bars release of 2013 videos of fatal shooting by Chicago police — for now

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down Chicago, Call For Rahm Emanuel Resignation.

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel was apologizing Wednesday for the broken system of police accountability exposed by the Laquan McDonald case, city attorneys argued before a federal judge that footage of an officer fatally shooting a 17-year-old carjacking suspect nearly three years ago should be kept from public view. Black Lives Matter protesters are filling the streets of Chicago Wednesday, blocking traffic and disrupting the city to protest police actions relating to the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.CHICAGO — The latest developments in the city of Chicago’s efforts to deal with fatal police shootings and police accountability (all times local): The new head of a body that investigates allegations of wrongdoing by Chicago police says she’s reopening the investigation of a black man who died in 2012 after officers used a stun gun on him and dragged him from a jail cell. Lawyers for Cedrick Chatman’s family allege the videos of his January 2013 killing contradict statements from police that Chatman had turned and pointed a dark object at police as he ran, prompting Officer Kevin Fry to fire in fear of his life.

Several hundred protesters marched through the city’s downtown loop at midday, chanting “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Rahm Emanuel has got to go,” and “Justice for Laquan.” They were flanked by police on foot and on bicycles. The Independent Police Review Authority’s chief, Sharon Fairley, said Wednesday in an emailed statement that there are “serious questions” about 38-year-old Philip Coleman’s treatment. Supervision and leadership in the Police Department and the oversight agencies that were in place failed, and that has to change,” Emanuel said, referring to the night McDonald was shot and killed by Officer Jason Van Dyke. “I am the mayor. City attorneys argue releasing the footage — which they described as low-quality and incomplete — could inflame the public and jeopardize a fair trial.

The city released a video this week of officers, several of whom are black, using the stun gun, then dragging an apparently unconscious Coleman, who was black, away. I take responsibility for what happened, because it happened on my watch, and if we’re going to fix it, I want you to understand it’s my responsibility with you, but if we’re also going to begin the healing process, the first step is my step, and I’m sorry,” he added.

Weakened and embarrassed by a string of police shootings caught on video, an apologetic mayor delivered a special address to the City Council, describing how he plans to lead the city and Police Department forward from here. But the judge said he would likely lift the protective order next month if he was going to be asked to consider the videos in any pretrial rulings, a move that would automatically make them part of the public record. “If it’s likely going to come out through pretrial motions, then there really is no reason to wait,” said Gettleman, who set a hearing on the issue for Jan. 14. Earlier this year, Lorenzo Davis, the IPRA supervisor who headed up the Chatman probe, filed a federal lawsuit alleging he was fired by Ando for concluding that officers in several shootings — including Chatman’s — were not justified in using lethal force. Authorities said McDonald took PCP and was carrying a pocket knife. (WATCH THE VIDEO: Justice Department Opens Investigation Into Chicago PD) The video quickly drew national outrage, leading to the firing of the police superintendent and calls for Emanuel’s resignation since the shooting happened over a year ago but charges are only now being brought against an officer. Instead, he used Wednesday’s speech to appeal to Chicagoans, police officers and elected officials. “The first step in that journey is my step—I’m sorry,” the mayor said, apologizing for the killing of Mr.

McDonald. “Nothing less than complete and total reform of the system and culture it breeds will meet the standards we have set for ourselves as a city.” Mr. I did not see where deadly force was called for at that time.” An investigator on Davis’ team alleged that Fry violated the department’s deadly force policy, but that claim was ruled “unfounded” in the final IPRA report.

Davis’ attorney, Torreya Hamilton, who attended Wednesday’s hearing, told reporters she thinks the Chatman case “will expose what was happening in IPRA and the corruption of its leaders.” After the hearing, Brian Coffman, who represents Chatman’s mother, Linda, called on Emanuel to make good on his promises to be more transparent when it comes to officers accused of excessive force. “If Mr. Protesters angered over the video of the shooting have demanded Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez resign over their handling of the case. Cook County’s chief prosecutor, Anita Alvarez, admits the timing of the charges against the officer involved are to make the shooting less of a scandal. The mayor has denied the claim and acknowledged Wednesday that he should have pressed for prosecutors to wrap up their investigation sooner so the video could be made public. They want to at least be able to say the officer is being charged so as to stymie outrage after people saw the video. “With release of this video it’s really important for public safety that the citizens of Chicago know that this officer is being held responsible for his actions,” she told Reuters in November.

The video also led to the forced resignation of the city’s police chief and multiple investigations, including a pending civil rights inquiry by the U.S. When an African-American mother or father or grandparent feel it is necessary to train their sons and daughters to behave with extreme caution when they are pulled over by police, to have both hands on the wheel and visible, what does that say? A Guardian investigation exposed in February that Chicago police have the equivalent of a domestic black site where they allegedly torture detainees who they often hold illegally and keep from legal counsel. She said she was “denied access” to the council’s chamber Wednesday until she produced ID — “even though my picture was on the wall.” Her white colleagues walked in without having to show ID, said Hairston, whose ward encompasses parts of the South Side, including the University of Chicago. There was a small bit of pushing and shoving with officers on Wednesday afternoon as the protesters tried to get to one of downtown’s main streets, but eventually police let them through.

Wednesday’s march is the latest in several weeks of protests following the release of video showing a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times in October 2014. He also reversed course on whether the Justice Department should launch a civil-rights investigation, saying he would welcome it only after presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats endorsed the idea. In news conferences, he has appeared worn down, fumbling answers to reporters’ questions or avoiding them entirely by walking away, with cameras rolling. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him grapple with anything quite like this,” said longtime ally and adviser David Axelrod, who also served with Emanuel in the Obama White House. The McDonald footage — ordered to be released by a judge last month and made public hours after Van Dyke was charged — set off a chain of events that captured the attention of the country. The most likely effect of the crisis will come in the form of pushback from aldermen, who have long been considered a rubber stamp for the mayor’s initiatives, said political consultant Delmarie Cobb.

Days of protests and marches followed, including one on the busiest shopping day of the year that partially shut down the city’s most famous shopping district, Michigan Avenue. A few days later, Emanuel announced that he had demanded and received the resignation of McCarthy, created a new task force and expanded the use of body cameras. The mayor won re-election in April by a healthy margin, but only after suffering the embarrassment of not getting a majority in a five-candidate February election, forcing the first mayoral runoff in decades. Permitting and protecting even the smallest acts of abuse by a tiny fraction of our officers leads to a culture where extreme acts of abuse are more likely, just like with what happened to Laquan McDonald,” he said. “We cannot ask citizens in crime-ravaged neighborhoods to break the code of silence if we continue to allow a code of silence to exist within our own police department. The dark object police recovered at the scene was a black iPhone box that authorities believe he obtained from the carjacking, according to IPRA, which ruled the officers’ actions justified. “The video shows Mr.

In the months that followed, his public schools CEO, who oversaw closings of about 50 schools that angered many residents, was indicted on corruption charges. Chatman running as fast as he possibly can away from these police officers,” Coffman said. “It’s a sunny day, not dark, he’s not carrying any kind of weapon and he makes no movements toward these police officers. … (Officer Fry) got out of his car and he was ready to shoot.

He called more broadly on changes in criminal justice systems, while decrying what he called the second-class treatment of Chicagoans by police because of race. His administration has warned of massive mid-year layoffs in the public schools and is in the midst of rocky contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union. Near the end of his speech, the mayor seemed close to tears, choking up as he recalled a recent lunch he had this weekend with a group of young men who had past run-ins with the law, but were trying to turn their lives around. “One young man asked me a simple question that gets to the core of what we’re talking about. He has never experienced that type of thing, and so to him it is foreign, and until you see it on videotape, and it can’t be refuted, and you’ve heard it over and over and over again, I think now he gets it,” said Ald. He said gun violence has become “normalized” as the city grapples with gang violence and how to reform a police force with a decades-old reputation for brutality.

At least four different groups are planning protests throughout the day in and around Chicago’s City Hall to draw attention to cases of alleged abuse by police officers.

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