The Chicago police union’s contract has come under intense scrutiny after the Van Dyke shooting.
After the shooting, Van Dyke was stripped of his police powers but remained on the payroll until today, when it was announced he had been charged with murder, per the union contract.
Chicago police union contract requires misconduct records be destroyed. #LaquanMcDonald https://t.co/BMe8OC37iT pic.twitter.com/M7x5QfSQ69
Guardian columnist Steven Thrasher’s visceral response to the dashcam video reflects on yet another police encounter that ended a life far too early.
The pending dread of knowing that this was a snuff video, which was going to end with the death of yet another young black male – a black child, he was only 17 – and not the first I have written about just today.
The buildup. It started with the withholding of the video for 400 days, only to be released on the anniversary of Darren Wilson getting off. It continued today with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s absurd calls for peace and invocation of family, as if Officer Jason Van Dyke wasn’t a Chicago police officer on the payroll for more than a year after shooting Laquan. It continued with each passing minute of the video ...
Chicago police department confirmed to the Guardian that there have been some arrests but would not provide a number or cause. Our reporter there said he witnessed three people being detained, which is similar to reports from other protesters.
Charlene Carruthers, national director of the Black Youth Project 100, said on Twitter that she had an encounter with police earlier in the evening and witnessed three fellow protesters be arrested.
Was just throw on the ground by a cop. They yanked my hair. Arrested three of our comrades. Page May, Johnae Strong and Troy Alim.
A small group of protesters gathered on south Florissant in Ferguson, marking the one year anniversary of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black teen, Michael Brown.
Brown’s death led to widespread, nationwide protests and gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Clergy stand in SFlorissant in #Fergsuon to divert traffic from protesters who are gathering in street. pic.twitter.com/PGCVymIIh5
Last year at this time, Guardian US senior correspondent Jon Swaine was inside a St Louis courtroom waiting for prosecutor Bob McCulloch to announce the grand jury decision in the fatal Ferguson police shooting of Michael Brown. Here Jon reflects on what has changed since then.
While protesters in Illinois may seethe about the killing of Laquan Mcdonald just as intensely as those in neighbouring Missouri did over the death Michael Brown, dramatic changes to the way that homicides by police are being dealt with by state and local officials can be traced from last Thanksgiving week to this one.
Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke stands accused of first-degree murder, the first from his notorious department to do so in decades. State’s attorney Anita Alvarez’s decision to prosecute follows similarly dramatic developments in South Carolina, where officer Michael Slager killed Walter Scott; in Ohio, where officer Ray Tensing shot dead Samuel DuBose; and in Maryland, where six officers face trials over the violent death of Freddie Gray.
Zach Stafford has been talking to some of the protesters in Chicago about their reaction to the video and police violence in Chicago.
He files this report.
“Right now black people are angry! Right now what is important is young black people,” Veronica Morris Moore, a young activist yelled in the center of a human circle at the intersection of Congress Parkway and State St in Chicago tonight.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, police there are still investigating a shooting that left five Black Lives Matter protesters injured.
Earlier today, police announced the arrests of two men - a 23-year-old white male and a 32-year-old Hispanic male in connection with shootings. Police released the Hispanic male, after concluding that he was not a the scene of the shooting on Monday night.
On the scene at the #4thPrecinctShutDown #JamarClark protest. pic.twitter.com/tzUxNBLp5i
Activists have linked arms, encircling journalists and even cars.
A video from inside the center of the circle. Police are trying to get cars out. pic.twitter.com/L2wLDW3DGj
During a press conference on Tuesday night, civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson said police superintendent Garry McCarthy should be fired over the handling of the McDonald case.
Rev. Jackson calls for firing of CPD Supt. Garry McCarthy over #LaquanMcDonald case. pic.twitter.com/kjbx1DsdIY
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would watch the video when it was released publicly, implying he hadn’t yet seen the video. Yet the city council approved a $5m settlement for McDonald’s family, even though they had not filed a lawsuit. Chicago’s corporation counsel, Stephen Patton, said the dashboard-camera footage had prompted the city’s decision to settle.
During a press conference on Tuesday night, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said he didn’t believed it, reports my colleague Ciara McCarthy of Guardian’s The Counted.
Chicago public school students are being sent home with this letter.
The letter notes that the video will not be shown in schools. However, the school has created a special toolkit to help teachers talk to students who are disturbed by what they saw in the video.
Copy of letter being sent home w/ @ChiPubSchools students. #LaquanMcDonald @CatalystChicago pic.twitter.com/29lVcO6lom
Tensions appear to be rising at the protest, with brief spurts of pushing between officers and protesters as they try to break through the police line.
Scene has calmed down now. Several detained. Group yelling "let them go" #LaquanMcDonald pic.twitter.com/uoun5JkbkU
Group of protesters trying to cross bridge east of Michigan on Balbo. #LaquanMcDonald pic.twitter.com/cj9UGW8w8B
The video released on Tuesday tells a different story than police initially told reporters.
Here is the initial account police gave as reported by the Invisible Institute.
On the night of October 20, a squad car responded to a call that someone was trying to break into cars in an industrial area on the southwest side. The officers found a boy with a knife in the street. He ignored their orders to drop the knife. A police spokesman described the boy in terms that suggest he was emotionally disturbed. (“He’s got a 100-yard stare. He’s staring blankly.”) The responding officers didn’t have a Taser. Waiting for one to arrive, they followed the boy in their squad car, as he walked a block to 41st and Pulaski.
A second squad car arrived. The boy again refused to drop the knife. The police tried to use the two vehicles to box him in against a construction fence on Pulaski. He punctured a tire and damaged the front windshield of one of the police cars. Officers got out of their vehicles. The boy approached them with the knife in his hand. One of the officers shot him in the chest. He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The video, which last six minutes and 54 seconds, captures the final moments of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’s life on 20 October 2014 as he is confronted by two armed police officers in the middle of a Chicago street. The teenager is seen striding down the center of a two-way street and appears to be carrying a knife when the dashboard camera of a police patrol vehicle captures the moment that two officers point handguns at him.
He turns briefly toward one of the officers and is then shot, the impact of the first bullet apparently spinning him around before he collapses on the street. A puff of smoke or dust can be seen rising from his body apparently as a bullet hits the ground. The camera continues to focus on his prone body as the officers, now out of frame, shoot him multiple times. An autopsy report from the Cook County medical examiner’s office showed that McDonald was shot 16 times.
Activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement and the local social justice group, Black Youth Project 100, have shut down the busy intersection of State and Roosevelt in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, says the Guardian’s Zach Stafford.
Protesters blocking South Loop intersection following Laquan McDonald video release. ... https://t.co/ZS8dfCtA1S pic.twitter.com/qq8uHJRiP9
Just an hour after the video was released, protesters gathered on the street, holding hands and chanting “16” – the number of times veteran police officer shot McDonald.
This is the first of many potential demonstrations throughout the city as news of the videos release begins to envelope the city.
@BYP_100 standing at Roosevelt & State counting the number of times #LaquanMcDonald was shot by an officer. pic.twitter.com/OwyJbkSXkG
Ahead of the video’s release, the McDonald family also appealed for calm in a statement:
We deeply appreciate the outpouring of love and support for Laquan. This is a difficult time for us. As we have said in the past, while we would prefer that the video not be released we understand that a court has ordered otherwise. We ask 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. Don’t resort to violence in Laquan’s name. Let his legacy be better than that.
This is the dashcam video of McDonald’s death release on Tuesday.
The Superintendent of Chicago’s police department, Garry McCarthy, claimed during a late Tuesday afternoon press conference that police shootings in the city have fallen by 70% in the last 4 years.
It’s not immediately clear what that claim is based on, says Guardian US data editor Mona Chalabi.
Protesters have gathered at Roosevelt and State in south Chicago.
At Roosevelt and State. #LaquanMcDonald pic.twitter.com/R2Ojnb1D00
Protesters chant "16 shots!" @ABC7Chicago #LaquanMcDonald pic.twitter.com/8aBQivOjDi
An ABC Chicago reporter describes the scene as protesters gather
Here is a still photo from the video of Laquan McDonald’s final moments. In it’s entirety the video lasts six minutes and 54 seconds. Our video team is working to bring it to you in full.
We should note that the McDonald family did not want the video to be released.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel appeared side by side with police superintendent Garry McCarthy at press conference late Tuesday afternoon to urge peaceful protests.
Anyone who is there to uphold the law cannot act like they’re above the law. I want to say one thing: there are men and women both in leadership positions and in rank and file who follow and live by that principal every day. Jason Van Dyke does not represent the police department,” Emanuel said at a press conference ahead of the video’s release.
People have a right to be angry. People have a right to protest. People have a right to free speech, but they do not have a right to commit criminal acts,” McCarthy said.
Rahm attends Christmas tree lighting minutes after #LaquanMcDonald video is released https://t.co/D8RRVznakx pic.twitter.com/E7TMi2bNM9
A Chicago reporter shows us where mayor Rahm Emanuel went immediately after a tense press conference
Hello and welcome to our rolling coverage of protests over police violence in Chicago and Minneapolis.
Police in Chicago have just released a chilling dashcam video of the fatal shooting of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, more than a year after the encounter. Ahead of the video’s release, Chicago authorities pleaded for calm in the city, echoing statements made by McDonald’s family that asked the protesters to remain peaceful. Continue reading...