Many people are now questioning why it took police over a year to release the dash-cam video from the Laquan McDonald shooting.
The answer is simple.
Police tried their damnedest to keep from having to release the footage, and it was only after a judge ordered the video to be released that the department reluctantly handed it over.
But why? You ask.
Perhaps because of the huge lie the department told in 2014, in order to justify the murder of the teen.
Right after the teen was shot to death, a police spokesperson released a statement in which he claimed McDonald was “crazed” and that he’d slashed the tires of squad cars and broken out a windshield as well.
They said McDonald refused to follow orders to drop the knife, and that he lunged toward officers right before the shooting began.
While the department claimed for over a year that officer Van Dyke had shot McDonald once in the chest in an act of self-defense, the video told a vastly different story.
That video almost didn’t see the light of day.
A good Samaritan contacted journalist, Jamie Kalven, and professor of law, Craig Futterman, in hopes that something could be done about this secret cover-up.
The men asked for the police to release the video via a public statement.
Months later, they received a copy of the autopsy that showed the 17-year old had been shot 16 times in the scalp, neck, left chest, right chest, left elbow, left forearm, right arm, right leg, right hand, and in the back.
Lawyers for McDonald’s family obtained a copy of the dash-cam video, and before they could even file the lawsuit, the department offered them 5 million dollars in hush money.
The financial settlement had terms, one of which was keeping the information within the video confidential.
They paid the family to stay quiet about the murder of their child.
Can you imagine the harassment the family would have endured at the hands of police had they not taken the settlement?
Thankfully, reporter Brandon Smith wanted the entire world to see what really happens in police departments around the country.
They cover each other’s corrupt asses.
After 16 rejected requests for the video’s release under the Freedom of Information Act, Brandon Smith sued the police, demanding the video’s public release.
In early November, Brandon Smith won his lawsuit and a judge ordered the dash-cam footage be made public.
The police department suddenly decides before releasing the video, that officer Van Dyke had to be charged with the murder he had committed over a year before.
Chicago’s Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, says there will be justice for the teenager, however, people in his administration are also named in the cover-up.
One thing is for certain. If it weren’t for whistle-blowers, nosy reporters, and lawyers, this child would be forever known as a thug who deserved what he got.
Video courtesy of AJ+ via YouTube: