Sneed exclusive: Officer who shot Laquan McDonald to be charged Tuesday

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago braces as ‘graphic’ video of white police officer shooting black teenager 16 times set to be released.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A source close to the investigation believes a Chicago police officer who fatally shot a teenager last year will be indicted on Tuesday.Chicago police have been ordered to release dashcam video of a white officer shooting and killing a black teenager, and Chicago officials are trying to prevent potential protests from the video before it strikes.Community leaders and senior and government and police officials have been meeting to discuss how to handle the release of the video, which has been described as graphic and violent and “difficult to watch”.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a conference call on Monday with key civic leaders, urging calm once a video of the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald is released. 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. Last week, a court ruled that officials with Chicago, where there has been long tension about the conduct between elements of the police department and black residents, must release the footage by November 25 – Wednesday.

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. 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. Over the weekend, African American leaders came together to call for calm, anxious that their city does not become another Ferguson or Baltimore, which were both rocked by protests that started peacefully but turned violent, following the death of black suspects at the hands of police.

Among those who turned out in a show of strength were members of Alpha Phi Alpha, an African American fraternity which counts many of the city’s leaders among its ranks. 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. But veteran activist Rev Jesse Jackson has called for the officer to be charged and had said there is a need for an overhaul of the city’s police department. “The police department is no longer credible,” he said. 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. Emanuel’s meeting with ministers and activists comes as residents brace both for the video’s release and for word on whether Van Dyke will face criminal charges.

Reports in the US media said people who have seen the footage say the images are graphic and show Mr McDonald being repeatedly shot while lying on the ground. “Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents,” it said. “In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level.” 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. They said people also are angry because the officer, though stripped of his police powers, has been assigned to desk duty and not fired. “They had the opportunity to be a good example and a model across the country on how to improve police and community relations and they missed it,” Acree said.

The department said placing an officer on desk duty after a shooting is standard procedure and that it is prohibited from doing anything more during the investigations. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Burge’s “midnight crew” used suffocation, electric shock, and other extreme tactics to strong-arm mostly black and Latino men into divulging information or (often false) confessions. 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. According to Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority, local police shot 50 people last year, of which 39 were black, seven were Hispanic, four were white, and one was of an unknown race. 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.

According to an investigation of this data and other information by the organization Truthout, a nonprofit progressive news organization, last year showed 500 local officers with more than 10 misconduct complaints between 2001 and 2006 were still serving on the force as of the report’s publication. 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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