A judge on Thursday ordered the release of Chicago police dashboard-cam video of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, last October by a white police officer. Judge Franklin Valderrama said police must release the video by next Wednesday, and the city said it would comply. The video is expected to show Officer Jason Van Dyke open fire on McDonald, 17, as he walked in the Archer Heights neighborhood. Police say McDonald was behaving erratically and refused commands to drop a 4-inch folding knife he was carrying.
McDonald was hit 16 times. The shooting garnered scant attention until April, when the city agreed to pay the teen’s family $5 million. A federal criminal probe of the incident continues, and Van Dyke remains on paid desk duty. Van Dyke’s attorney said, “The video is graphic, disturbing and difficult to watch, as any video of a man being shot to death would be.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had opposed the video’s release, had a change of heart. In a statement he said, “Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents. In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level.”