Video sparks protests in Chicago

Video sparks protests in Chicago

Thirteen months ago in the city of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed 17-year old Laquan McDonald. The video of the shooting that was taken by a dashboard camera inside a police car near the scene has just recently been released. The footage is disturbing to say the least, showing McDonald being shot multiple time even after he had fallen to the ground.

The release of the video has caused distress in the city. Some of the protests that have taken place involve hundreds of people blocking traffic and some others circling police cars  and chanting “16 shots” (the number of times McDonald was shot). Some protests also took place right outside of the police headquarters.

However, the protests did not become too extreme as police officers were prepared for them after the video was released. The fear was that the protests could escalate to the likes of what occurred in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland which stemmed from very similar situations.

In the video, McDonald is seen jogging in an empty lane on a four lane road where police cars are parked. He proceeds to pull up his pants and then begins walking slowly. Two officers then emerge from their cars and are clearly holding their guns. McDonald then begins to walk away from the officers. However, one officer fires at him anyway multiple times. At the very end of the video one officer can be seen kicking something out of McDonald’s hands. The claim is that he had a knife on him. Reports say that Van Dyke had only been on the scene for about 30 seconds before he began firing.

The video raises questions as to why the officer, Van Dyke,  decided to fire even though the teenager certainly didn’t appear to be doing anything that would warrant that type of reaction from a police officer. Also, many people are wondering why Van Dyke felt the need to shoot McDonald multiple times even after he had fallen to the ground.

Van Dyke is currently being charged with murder. He also lost his police powers and has been restricted to desk work.

Clearly the actions that were taken by officer Van Dyke can be viewed as over the top by many people. Others may say that he felt threatened by McDonald and was defending himself. Whatever you believe, the video is very disturbing and the multiple shots that were fired after the young man fell to the ground make it quite difficult to take the side of the police officer.

Click here to see the video that was released.