The cop who shot Laquan McDonald has been charged, and the information contained in the indictment is pretty horrifying:
Rarely have officers here faced such charges, and the prosecutor’s announcement came amid a national debate over race, police shootings and a growing number of encounters captured on video showing police conduct. Chicago’s police force has its own sometimes painful history, which by some estimates includes more than $500 million in settlements and other costs over the last decade tied to police misconduct as well as reparations for black residents who said a group of officers abused and tortured them in the 1970s and 1980s.
The charges seemed likely to blunt reaction to the release of the video. Some who have seen it say it shows Laquan McDonald, 17, being struck by 16 bullets, some of them hitting him even after he had fallen to the street. A county prosecutor, William G. Delaney, said that Officer Van Dyke fired all 16 shots while other officers did not fire at all. Officer Van Dyke arrived less than 30 seconds before he started shooting, the prosecutor said, and he fired for 14 or 15 seconds. For 13 of those seconds, Mr. Delaney said, Mr. McDonald was already on the ground.
They determined Van Dyke began shooting six seconds after arriving on scene, well after the other officers had determined there was no need to use force. He showed up, started shooting, and shot 13 of the 16 rounds after Laquan was already hit and on the ground. A civilian witness stated under oath that McDonald did not ever approach them, and seemed to be doing whatever he could to get away from the police, not threaten them. Other officers testified that Van Dyke was reloading and other officers had to tell him to stop shooting because Laquan was struggling to breathe. There’s also this:
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 24, 2015
Meanwhile, white supremacists are opening fire on #blacklivesmatter protesters. You know, people who are trying to stop police from executing them in the street.