Chicago ‘Could Be Just Like Ferguson’ When This Video Comes Out

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Jessie Cohen Contributor
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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.

According to CNN, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was carrying a 4-inch knife down the streets of Chicago. Authorities say he was behaving erratically, “punctured a tire on a police car,” and refused to put down the weapon. McDonald was shot 16 times.

A police union spokesman says the officer had asked the teen to drop the knife multiple times and feared his life when he did not listen.

Rev. Roosevelt Watkins is nervous that the public may respond like some in Ferguson, Mo. did after Michael Brown’s death.

“Chicago is on the tipping point. We could be just like Ferguson,” Watkins told ABC 7 WLS Chicago.

The officer’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, told the Chicago Tribune that “the video is graphic, disturbing and difficult to watch, as any video of a man being shot to death would be.”

Herbert told CNN that his client, officer Jason Van Dyke, used his weapon after McDonald ignored multiple police officers to drop the knife, and that he feared for his life.

A judge ordered the video to be released by Wednesday.

The decision was the result of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by a freelance journalist earlier this year.

“Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a Thursday statement. “In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level.”