By John Dempsey, WLS News
Mayor Emanuel has decided not to appeal a court order to release the video showing a Chicago Police Officer shooting a black teen to death. The officer shot and killed 17 year old LaQuan McDonald last October, firing 16 shots into the teen’s body. On Thursday, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderama ordered Emanuel to release the police dashboard camera video, which the Mayor had resisted. A few hours after the judge’s order, Emanuel released the following statement:
“Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents. In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level. As a result, the city’s Independent Police Review Authority promptly sent this case and the evidence to state and federal prosecutors who have been investigating it for almost a year. In accordance with the judge’s ruling the City will release the video by November 25, which we hope will provide prosecutors time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal.”
So far the officer has not been charged with wrongdoing, but the Chicago City Council has already approved a five million dollar settlement with McDonald’s family.
Now, some in the community are concerned about possibly rioting when that video is released.
City Council Black Caucus Chairman, Sixth Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer, told ABC 7, “I just to make sure that people remain calm, be angry, be frustrated, but work within the system”. Meanwhile, Police Union President Dean Angelo told “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS, “There is a sense of concern throughout the entire department now, probably throughout the entire city, what are the plans? What’s going to go into effect? Is this going to be an emergency or a high alert type of concern?”
So far the police department is not saying what measures it might take to prevent unrest, in the days and hours before that video is released.
Angelo says if the officer is eventually charged, release of the video will make it harder to find impartial jurors for his trial, telling WLS, “Not only is it going to put out evidence that is going to be viewed hundreds of times by a potential jury pool, but where do you find someone that doesn’t have a pre-conceived opinion of what occurred?”
However freelance journalist Brandon Smith, who filed a lawsuit to force the release of the video, says it’s past time for the public to be able to see what happened, even if prosecutors are still deciding whether to file charges against the officer. ” Videos speak a lot louder than descriptions of videos, and it’s been over a year since this incident. If there’s such a clear record of what happened, it doesn’t make sense to investigate it so long and doubt what happened”
@ 2015 WLS News