The Laquan McDonald shooting video, which shows a Chicago police officer firing on the teenager 16 times, was released Tuesday, sparking heated protests across the city the same day the officer involved was charged with first-degree murder.
Chicago city officials released the video
ahead of a court-ordered Wednesday deadline to do so. Recorded via dashcam on Oct. 20, 2014, the footage reportedly shows Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shooting the 17-year-old McDonald, who is black, 16 times, killing him, USA Today reported
"It is graphic, it is violent, it is chilling," Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez said in describing the clip to reporters Tuesday.
Around the time of the incident, a police union official said that McDonald had lunged at Van Dyke with a small, three-inch knife, causing the officer to discharge his weapon, according to USA Today. An autopsy later revealed the teen had PCP in his system.
But prosecutors, who levied a charge of first-degree murder on Van Dyke, say the video shows that McDonald was clearly not coming at the officer. In fact, they say, McDonald was on the ground as some of the shots were fired, according to the newspaper.
"Two officers jump from their vehicle, guns drawn. McDonald keeps moving, apparently trying to pass the officers who are several feet to his left. McDonald, holding something in his right hand, swings his right arm in the split second before an officer opens fire," the Chicago Tribune said in a step-by-step description
of what happened.
"The force of the bullets spins McDonald around. His legs stiffen as he falls backward to the pavement. The teen rolls onto his right side in the middle of the roadway . . . Two clouds of smokelike debris silently puff upward immediately after McDonald falls. His head appears to lift, his arm moves. Then more bullets. Another cloud of white debris kicks up from behind his head."
The court order to release the video came as a result of a lawsuit filed against the city by independent journalist Brandon Smith, USA Today reported.
Hundreds of protesters yelling "16 shots" filled Chicago streets Tuesday evening after the release of the video, USA Today reported.
The chilling video drew many to post about the incident online:
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.