The Police Killing Video Chicago Has Paid $5 Million for Us Not to See

On October 20, 2014, something so egregious, so awful, so unjust took place on the streets of Chicago that the city, already in a deep deficit, is paying a family $5 million for us to never see evidence of. On that night, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, surrounded by officers who were waiting for a Taser, was shot 16 times.

It was filmed on a dash cam, but for the past six months, Chicago has done everything in its power to keep that video private. Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, the family attorney, Michael Robbins, said:


“I certainly expect that the officer will be indicted, and not just the officer, but any officer, supervisor or lieutenant who took part in covering this up and justifying what cannot be justified. This was an execution of a young man that should have been— and could have been—avoided."
After the shooting, a spokesman for the police stated that Laquan lunged at the officers and caused them to fear for their lives, but the family and everyone who has seen the videoinsists Laquan was doing quite the opposite, and was slowly walking away when one single officer hit him with 16 different shots all over his body. Otherwise, if the video showed a brave officer in imminent danger, it's highly unlikely a grieving family would be about to receive one of the largest settlements in the history of Chicago.

The FBI is now investigating the case as well.

Here's the thing: the family deserves a settlement. However, they don't own that dash cam video—it belongs to the public and should be released in the interest of public safety. These videos cannot and should not be used as some form of a bargaining chip with victims and their families. They are public property, filmed with equipment funded by taxpayers.

The video needs to be released immediately and the officer involved must face real disciplinary action.

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