The video of a so-called ‘crazed,’ 17-year old black man wandering the streets of Chicago and then shot 16 times by a cop is just being released although it happened over a year ago.
The question on the minds of most Americans is why are we just now seeing the evidence of this murder when it happened so long ago.
Furthermore, why was the murder covered up?
Shortly after the murder, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said McDonald slashed the tires on a police car, smashed a squad car’s windshield and refused to listen to the officer’s orders to drop a knife. The spokesman also said, McDonald lunged at the officer which is why the officer opened fire and shot McDonald in the chest.
However, a whistleblower tipped off a journalist and a lawyer and they requested a copy of the autopsy which showed McDonald had been shot 16 times in multiple locations on his body. They also found out that McDonald did not destroy a squad car as the spokesman said.
It was around this time that Chicago Police offered the family $5 million to keep the video confidential.
The attorney for the family had not even filed a lawsuit yet according to reports and Chicago’s Police Department put “5 on it” to get the family to shut up.
However, Brandon Smith, a reporter, wanted the public to see the video so he made sure that video was made public. That is the video we are seeing today…over a year later.
Keep in mind, even when the journalists working on this story used the Freedom of Information Act, their requests were denied. Those journalists decided to sue and they won. Their gutsy behavior is the only way we know the truth surrounding this story today.
Because the journalists won their case against the city, we are now able to see the cold-blooded murder of Laquan McDonald, whereas before, we would have never been the wiser.
The Chicago Police Department had to release the video to comply with the court order. Chicago Police and Officer Jason Van Dyke, the shooter, were hiding the senseless murder of this young, black male which just happened to be caught on the officer’s dash cam. This leaves too much to the imagination. How many others were gunned down like this yet not fortunate enough to have it caught on camera?
Even the prosecutor/State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, said she had always planned to charge Van Dyke with the murder of McDonald, yet she had not done so in the span of 13 months. In addition, there is speculation that the footage from the neighboring Burger King restaurant’s camera was erased.
What we are seeing today is not an increase in violence on black people, instead, we are living in an age where we can actually capture these heinous crimes and replay it before the world.
When we see excessive force reports like the ones that are rolling in with the Orlando Police Department, here in our own community, it leaves too much to the imagination. If this is what we see on paper, how many more cases are out there that we know nothing about? Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was in the middle of his election. Not many can be convinced that he would allow a horrible scandal like this one to hit the airwaves during such an important time in his career. There were also heated debates around the country already at this time centered around the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson and Baltimore.
The city’s mayor, Emanuel, is now calling for healing. But, some in Chicago feel that is an unreasonable request and offensive rhetoric. Asking for healing and calm is an afterthought after the murder of yet another black soul.
Some are even calling for Emanuel’s resignation because they say they never would have re-elected him had they known he was part of a major police cover-up involving the murder of a black youth.
This all begs the question; how can a city, state or nation heal when there is no trust? How can a nation be calm and unite when a segment of the population is being gunned down senselessly by certain white people in authority?
Today, the officer who shot Laquan McDonald, was released from jail. However, a black student, Jabari Dean, who made a threat today to the University of Chicago has been charged with making an online threat even though the FBI said they do not consider Dean to be a threat.
Had it not been for this journalist, Brandon Smith, and the attorney that helped him, we would not have known the truth about what really happened to Laquan McDonald because the people we are supposed to trust to protect and serve us were to busy covering it up.