News Guide: Protests of Chicago teen’s shooting continue

26 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago calm a day after release of video of police shooting teenager.

Rapper Vic Mensa joined protesters on the streets of Chicago last night to campaign against Chicago police following the shooting of 17-year-old black teenager Laquan McDonald.US president Barack Obama has said he was “deeply disturbed” by the video footage of a white Chicago policeman shooting dead a black teenager that has been released to the public.

CHICAGO (AP) — 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.Laquan McDonald walks on a road (top L-R) and is subsequently shot (bottom R) by police officer Jason Van Dyke (not pictured) in Chicago, in this combination of still images taken from a police vehicle dash camera video shot on October 20, 2014, and released by Chicago Police. The Chicago Tribune reports (http://trib.in/1IhGV0f) parents have received a letter from Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson assuring them the video of McDonald’s death won’t be shown in schools. Protesters in Chicago have likened the Laquan McDonald killing to that of Michael Brown, the black teenager shot dead by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri last year, triggering 15 months of demonstrations in major US cities over perceived police brutality against black men.

Complaints against police aren’t uncommon, but the number against Van Dyke was particularly high and at least one was linked to a civil trial where jurors awarded damages to someone he arrested. Chicago police initially said that McDonald was high on the hallucinogen PCP, acting erratically, and then lunged at officers with a knife before being shot 16 times in October 2014. Investigation of the case comes amid a national debate on race and police tactics sparked by a series of high-profile killings of unarmed black men at the hands of mainly white law enforcement in several US cities in the past two years, leading to widespread demonstrations and some violent unrest. The CPS says the kit is a teaching tool, but teachers union official Jesse Sharkey criticizes it for not including a “lesson about the lack of political courage” and “political corruption.” Once instance includes a black woman accusing Van Dyke of repeatedly directing racial slurs at her as police searched her apartment on Dec. 1, 2013, the Associated Press reported, citing records from the Independent Police Review Board.

As well as posting a photo of his attendance to Snapchat, Mensa was briefly filmed by a follower on Twitter, where he exclaimed, “We want justice for Laquan and we want justice for our people.’ As reported by Consequence of Sound, Chicago based rapper Chance The Rapper also took to Twitter to show his support. The board eventually concluded the woman was “invasive, disruptive and provocative such that her arrest also would’ve been justified had it occurred.” The board concluded the officers’ actions were justified. Tweeting “Be strong Chicago” before adding “I’ll be back in 2 days.” Vic Mensa signed to Roc Nation earlier this year, announcing the deal by releasing his debut single on the label, ‘U Mad’, which features a guest appearance from Kanye West. Alvarez, a Democrat who is expected to face a tough re-election fight next year, has defended the timing of the charges, saying she decided to charge the officer weeks ago but moved up the public announcement because of the imminent release of the videotape.

She noted that federal investigators were also probing the shooting and hadn’t decided what, if any, action they would take. “While it would seem to some that the 12 months of investigation with our federal partners has taken too long, the investigation of police shootings and misconduct are highly complex matters that carry with them very unique legal issues,” Ms. In 2008, Noel dubbed the decision to book Jay to headline Glastonbury “wrong”, while Liam labelled Kanye as “utter shit” on Twitter following the rapper’s Brit Awards performance last February. “Those guys are legends, but also dickheads. Prosecutors said Van Dyke, who joined Chicago police in 2001, opened fire just 30 seconds after his vehicle pulled up to the scene with McDonald and six seconds after stepping out of it.

The Tribune also said that, like the original video made public, the new tapes all lack any discernible audio that should have been included — a shortcoming police have previously attributed to unspecified technical problems. Shot from an approaching police vehicle, the dashcam video shows McDonald run down the middle of the street towards another police cruiser, hitch up his pants and then start to walk away from Van Dyke and his partner. The additional videos were furnished to the Tribune by Mayor Rham Emanuel’s Law Department under an open-records request for footage from all eight police vehicles present at the shooting.

An investigation into whether Van Dyke used excessive force in an April 6, 2008 incident concluded he didn’t know how a 20-year-old black man sustained an injury to his eye. Alvarez said, about two weeks after the shooting. “It’s very disturbing that they waited this long,” said Flint Taylor, a veteran civil rights lawyer who represents victims of alleged police abuse in Chicago. “The old saying is that a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich, and they had this videotape from the beginning.” “We do not accept the explanation of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez for her egregious 400-day delay in charging the officer in question. Van Dyke began his incarceration under protective custody at a hospital facility segregated from the general population of Cook County Jail, the county sheriff’s office said. Feels very racist to me. “They’re gonna say: ‘No it’s not about race, it’s about guitar music, it’s about rock’n’roll’, but I mean like, how many people do you feel are carrying the spirit of rock’n’roll in 2015? The fatal shooting put Van Dyke’s record in the force under scrutiny, as it emerged that he had at least 20 complaints filed against him but was never disciplined.

A 41-year-old black man filed a federal lawsuit against officers following a 2007 incident where Van Dyke allegedly verbally abused him after a traffic stop. In April, a white South Carolina police officer, Michael Slager, was arrested and charged with murder within days after a citizen video emerged that showed him shooting an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, who was running away from him at the time.

Mr Nance — who worked at a cable company and as a high-school sports referee — told investigators that Van Dyke’s partner slammed his head on the hood of his car and that Van Dyke violently handcuffed him and tossed him into a squad car. Authorities in Chicago, a city of 2.7 million people, had girded for the possibility of civil unrest on a scale seen in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, but the city remained mostly tranquil by Wednesday night. Five people were arrested late on Tuesday in mostly peaceful rallies, and a new round of protests on Wednesday at Chicago’s criminal courthouse and City Hall were sparsely attended.

The video sparked protests over the last two nights and some demonstrators have urged supports to join them to try and shut down Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue shopping district during the Black Friday shopping boom. Obama said in a Facebook post that he is asking Americans to “keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers” this Thanksgiving “and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor.” Maki Haberfeld, chairwoman of the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the shooting didn’t appear to be justified because the teen wasn’t approaching the officer.

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