New videos raise questions in Chicago police shooting of black teen

26 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago Public Schools Issues Lesson Help Teachers Guide Discussion on the Shooting of 17-Year-Old Laquan McDonald.

Officials of Chicago Public Schools say they’re preparing for the fallout resulting from the video showing a police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald Schools say they plan on talking about the video which has emerged this week of the fatal shooting of black teenager by a white Chicago police officer last year.New dash cam video shows Laquan McDonald sprinting away from the Chicago cop charged in his death just moments before he was shot 16 times, providing a more complete timeline of the October 2014 police shooting.

The Chicago Tribune reports that parents have received a letter from Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson assuring them the video won’t be shown in schools. As national media turns its attention to the city following the release of video showing McDonald being killed in what prosecutors say was an act of first-degree murder by Officer Jason Van Dyke, the 18 other homicides will go uncovered.

For the past year The Daily Beast has been investigating killings by Chicago police to determine whether the police and press versions of events line up with autopsy reports; whether the Independent Police Review Authority has completed its investigations into the deaths; whether witnesses have spoken to police and IPRA investigators. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said on Tuesday she’d hoped to make a joint announcement with federal authorities about charges against Van Dyke but decided to charge him earlier in the hopes of calming what she knew would be an angry response to the video. Video from Van Dyke’s patrol car — one of the four new tapes — showed the cop chasing McDonald, who police said was armed with a knife and attempting to break into cars. The footage is taken from the white officer’s police car as he pulled through a Burger King parking lot and McDonald, 17, bounded out in front of him before running down the road.

The video of this incident has been released to the public.” Teachers’ goals, the tool kit says, should focus on giving students a “safe outlet for expressing their thoughts without arguing about the incident.” Teachers also should “have students imagine the best possible outcome” and “avoid further perpetuation of the fear and hatred of law enforcement that these incidents encourage.” Teachers union official Jesse Sharkey criticizes the kit for not including a “lesson about the lack of political courage” and “political corruption.” Unrest in the city began this week when the graphic video showing the shooting was released. Another video released Wednesday from a cop car that arrived at the scene after the shooting showed the dying teenager lying in the four-lane highway.

Soon after this, Van Dyke emptied an entire magazine into the young man with most of the 16 shots fired at point-blank range as he lay motionless on the ground. Mr McDonald was killed on October 20th, 2014, barely two months after the explosion of protest that followed the killing of another black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. On Wednesday, protesters vandalized a city Christmas tree displayed for the holidays and protests continued for the second day along Chicago’s shopping destination known as the Magnificent Mile.

It has also emerged that Van Dyke was the subject of 18 civilian complaints over 14 years, including allegations that he used racial epithets and excessive force, police and court records show. But if that was one reason for the more modest protests that followed its release, the main one is that Mr Van Dyke seems likely to be held accountable for his actions. Footage from another dashcam that was also obtained by ABC 7 shows McDonald in the middle of the road and struggling to stay alive after being shot as paramedics arrive on the scene.

Most of those killings were not as egregious as McDonald’s, but many exist in a state of evidentiary purgatory: Whether they are justified or not is nearly impossible to tell because we were not there. She said he opened fire just six seconds after getting out of his vehicle and kept firing even though McDonald dropped to the ground after the initial shots.

Small groups of demonstrators gathered again Wednesday to protest the death of McDonald, and they urged supporters to join them in trying to shut down Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue shopping district during the Black Friday shopping bonanza. It distorts images.’ Van Dyke’s wife Tiffany had established a Go Fund Me page to help pay for her husband’s defence and raised some $10,000 in a few hours, but the page was later removed and the donations returned.

A group of between 100 and 200 protesters began a march at the start of the evening rush-hour in Chicago’s busy downtown area on Wednesday, and were still on the streets more than five hours later despite the onset of rain. Warren Robinson’s death warranted more coverage in local media, but considering the mayhem that enveloped the city’s South and West sides that weekend—82 shot and 14 killed—the incident got a bit lost. Some protesters also tried to storm Trump Towers in Chicago at one point, screaming ‘F*** Donald Trump,’ though the doors to the building were closed by the visibly nervous doormen before there was any incident. Afterall, Robinson was the second of two teens killed by police over the holiday weekend—Pedro Rios, 14, died when he allegedly refused to drop what was described by Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden as a “Dirty Harry” gun. (Camden said Laquan McDonald “lunged” at officers, which was proven false by dashcam video.) Rios’s death appears to have been justified—as unsettling as it may be—but a number of factors may require another look at Robinson’s death.

The autopsy begins the same way as Laquan McDonald’s and many others do: Sometimes there is unique identifying information, like the tattoo on Robinson’s chest that read “God’s Child.” Often times, there are quite a few bullet holes. Starting with a graze wound on top of the head, police worked their way down Robinson’s body with their shots, all of which traveled from back to front: 9.5 inches below the top of the head, 10 inches below, 10.5, and 11.5 inches below.

Judge Peggy Chiampas said the state’s attorney’s office recommended dropping the charge against 22-year-old Malcolm London and told London he was free to go. In Robinson’s right arm, with all bullets but one travelling back to front, the teen was struck thrice in his forearm, twice in his right shoulder, and once in the back of his hand. “He was told multiple times—he was told ‘Drop the gun, drop the gun.’ He is coming out from under the car with the gun in hand. At that point he [is] shot,” cop union spokesman Camden said at the time. “He is told again after he is shot to drop the gun and he refuses to do so still has his finger on the trigger.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis, hundreds of people filled a church to pay their respects to a man whose death in an unrelated confrontation with police sparked more than a week of ongoing protests. He performed this same task in his previous occupation as spokesman for the Chicago Police Department. “It gives them deniability,” said Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute. He eventually hid underneath a vehicle, pointing the weapon at officers on numerous occasions, was shot by the officers and subsequently expired.” Robinson fit the description of “someone who had been firing shots in the area,” Camden and unnamed police sources had reported to the media. Robinson “tried to blend in at a party […] but left and jumped a fence when people at the party started to complain,” those officials added to the official version of events preceding Robinson’s death.

The plea was echoed by attorneys for the McDonald family, who called for ‘calm in Chicago’. ‘No one understands the anger more than us, but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. While it’s true that reports involving minors are typically exempt from FOIA requests, Illinois law makes no such distinction when it comes to the dead. “When the victim of a crime is deceased, the personal privacy interest of the victim in the disclosure of his or her identity ceases to exist,” Illinois statute states. My family is in need of your help very quickly. ‘My husband is having a bond hearing and if we do not raise the money he will be detained on 11/24/15. With the holidays approaching our husband and father needs to be home with his family.’ A spokesperson said all money had been refunded as the site prohibits any and all fundraising for the ‘defense of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity.’ In its denial, the department cited language in the act that “does not require a public body to interpret or advise requesters as to the meaning or significance of public records.” But no such “meaning or significance” was requested.

For months following the Aug. 20 death of his son, Desean, last year, Reggie Pittman had a simple and morbid question: “How many times did they shoot him?” It wasn’t until this May that I was able to answer that question for Reggie. The gunshot wounds in Desean’s body leave a lifetime wound in Reggie’s heart. “Your birthday was the worst day for me,” Reggie wrote on Oct. 30. “I cried all day, didn’t want to talk to anyone, contemplated suicide, and even blamed myself for your death.

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