7 Chicago cops recommended for firing in Laquan McDonald death

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Shooting of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer

 Seven Chicago officers have been recommended for firing in relation to the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald, Chicago police said.

The city’s Office of the Inspector General recommended the termination of eight officers, but Chicago police disagreed with one of those, the police department said.

Another two officers who had been under investigation have retired.

Dashcam video of the fatal 2014 shooting contradicted nearly everything police said happened the night McDonald died. It showed McDonald walking away from police as he held a knife, not lunging toward officers as police had said.

One officer, Jason Van Dyke, jumped out of his vehicle and pulled his gun, firing at McDonald six seconds after arriving on the scene.

Van Dyke continued to fire, unloading every round from his gun in 15 seconds.

The video appears to show McDonald’s body getting hit by bullets even after he was on the ground. All 16 rounds struck McDonald.

It took 400 days to release the dashcam video to the public. After the city’s objections, a judge ordered the release.

Alleged cover-up, threats to witnesses

In addition to the dashcam video that contradicted police accounts, allegations have surfaced that officers pressured witnesses to change their stories to match official reports.

At least three witnesses to the McDonald killing were questioned for hours, threatened by officers and ordered to change their accounts to match the official Chicago police version of the shooting, the attorneys for the teen’s estate say.

The attorneys also alleged that officers up the chain of command fabricated witness accounts to support the way police at the scene described what happened.

Asked about the allegations earlier this year, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said he was not familiar with them and was not able to comment at the time.

“This is why we want an independent investigation to look at every fact,” he said.

Chicago police did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for additional comment Thursday.

Officer pleaded not guilty to murder

Van Dyke became the first Chicago officer charged with first-degree murder since 1980.

He has pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder.

If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

CNN’s Wayne Drash contributed to this report.

1 Comment

  • Opinion8d

    What a bunch of crap! Put anyone in the same situation and see what they do. Video can be deceptive and misleading. Watching something in super slow-mo distorts the reality of the situation. It also creates an illusion of time to decide or over-analyze options when in fact it is all based on split second decisions real time. People get tunnel vision, they may perceive movements in one manner that are really something else, they may see something in the eyes of the suspect, and a multitude of other things. Police have seen far more training videos of perps who were able to attack cops (and kill them) in a split second than the majority of the public ever see. They should be given the benefit of the doubt and while shootings like this may be tragic, the guy did have a knife and wasn’t listening to police commands.

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