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Everything You Should Read About The Laquan McDonald Shooting

By Kate Shepherd in News on Nov 25, 2015 6:25PM

A still from the video

We searched far and wide to bring you some of the most interesting written responses to the release of the gruesome video of a Chicago cop fatally shooting teenager Laquan McDonald, less than a day since the video's release.

Chicago Tribune's John Kass: The mayor's trying to pass the blame for the Laquan McDonald situation onto others when he should be holding himself accountable as well. Chicago politics kept the video a secret and everyone from Rev. Jesse Jackson to the Chicago City Council's Black Caucus stayed quiet about it when they should've been demanding its release.

Rahm sat on the video, and kept sitting on it, all the way through his re-election, as black ministers and other African-American political figures rallied to his side to get out the black vote and deny that vote to Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

If the video had come out during the election campaign, Rahm Emanuel would not be mayor today.

New York Daily News: The killings of unarmed African-Americans by law enforcement has replaced lynching. Justice is very rare in these cases.

His body was not dangling from a poplar tree, but it was indeed strange fruit.

No judge, no jury, just an executioner.

To be clear, this was no aberration. This was no exception to the rule. This was no freak occurrence. In America, our police are shooting and killing more unarmed African-Americans than we have seen in any year of lynching since 1922.

Esquire/Britt Julious: The video is forcing Chicagoans from all parts of our very segregated city to confront the city's worst elements. It's also proof of the violence and corruption we know exists.

But for Chicagoans, this video represents something rare and nearly tangible: proof of the ills of our land. We've known all along how Chicago operates. The corruption flowing through all levels of government is a given and a running joke. The violence, conveniently pocketed in forgotten communities. The push and pull of history, the real currency of power more than outright wealth. But the video is one of the clearest moments in recent memory that actually reflects this city, not Navy Pier and the glossy scraps we push to the out-of-state masses.

The Chicago Reporter's Adeshina Emmanuel: Before the video's release, community leaders and activists didn't all agree that the public should see the video. But the judge's decision could lead to more police shooting videos going public.

Brendan Healey, an attorney who specializes in FOIA law at the law firm Mandell Menkes, said the decision could have wider ramifications. The section of the law that allows agencies to withhold investigatory records is one that is "often abused" and not just by police departments, he said.

The Guardian/Brandon Smith: This article by the journalist who sued the city to have the video released says the video's banality, including its lack of sound and its depiction of the officers as cold and detached, adds to its horror.

The lack of sound, and the cold way the officers moved and behaved, made a horrifying act seem almost mundane. The tape shows Jason Van Dyke, the officer now charged with Laquan’s murder, leaving his police car. A few short seconds elapse with Van Dyke’s gun drawn and, before Laquan has a chance to say anything, the teen falls to the ground. That’s it. To the world, Laquan died quietly. Officers stand around, not helping the boy, seemingly securing the scene from an invisible threat.

Little did they know: the threat is them.

Chicago Reader: Killed On Camera by John Conroy This is not a think piece on the McDonald shooting video but a great feature on the 2003 killing of an unarmed African-American man, Michael Pleasance, by a Chicago police officer.

While all this unfolded, 911 operators started receiving calls about the incident. "We got about six guys fighting in the station," said the first caller. Three minutes later, calls reported gunfire, none indicating that the shooter was a policeman. "One is shot," reported a bus driver. "He's sticking up another one now...This man is crazy. He has a gun, he's already shot one person."

There's another police dashcam video of a shooting that might be released, Aldertrack's Mike Fourcher told Fox 32. Police shot 25-year old Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson III just days before McDonald and dashcam captured the incident.