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Chicago Releases Video Of White Police Officer Fatally Shooting Black Teen 16 Times

The video, ordered released by the judge, shows Laquan McDonald being shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke last year. WARNING: The video is graphic.

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Chicago officials on Tuesday released a graphic dashcam video of a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times in 2014 after a judge ordered them to make it public.

Officer Jason Van Dyke was also charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, which was captured by the camera.

"Anyone who is there to uphold the law cannot act as if they are above the law," Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters. "Jason Van Dyke does not represent the police department."

Watch video of the shooting here:

Chicago Police Department

Officials also appealed for calm Tuesday, noting that while the public had a right to peacefully demonstrate, criminal acts would not be tolerated.

"We're not predicting doom and gloom," Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said. "We are predicting protests, which is something that we do two or three times a day in the city of Chicago."

Protesters chant "16 shots!" @ABC7Chicago #LaquanMcDonald

In a statement Tuesday night, McDonald's family said that they would've preferred to not have the video released publicly, but "understand that a court has ruled otherwise." The family also asked for calm in Chicago.

"No one understands the anger more than us but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful," the family's statement added. "Don't resort to violence in Laquan's name. Let his legacy be better than that."

A large group of protesters gathered in downtown Chicago following the release, walking through streets and temporarily blocking intersections. The NAACP encouraged people to come together and call for change. The mayor went on to a previously scheduled tree-lighting ceremony.

After the video was released, Rev. Jesse Jackson held a press conference urging for a "shakeup" in the police department that would re-establish trust in the public, and said he supported protesters to demand change in the city.

"It is not enough to charge one police officer with murder," Jackson said. "The accomplices who did not stop him were not arrested."

Jackson called the charge of murder filed against Van Dyke "appropriate," but said the department needed a shakeup to restore public trust.

"People need to see some visible indication that they are being heard," Jackson said, adding that he urged protests to be "nonviolent, massive, and disciplined."

The city had refused to release the video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald, arguing that doing so could jeopardize the ongoing investigation in the death. However, a judge last week ordered the Chicago Police Department to release the video no later than Wednesday, sending city officials scrambling to work with civic leaders and appeal for public demonstrations and reaction to be peaceful.

In April, the Chicago City Council approved a $5 million settlement with the family, the terms of which prohibit attorneys from releasing the dashcam video.

Jackson called the settlement "hush money" the city paid instead of releasing the video publicly and waiting more than a year to file charges.

"The killer remained in the police department until today, and would have been there tomorrow had the tape not been made public," he said.

Michael Robbins, a lawyer for the McDonald family, told BuzzFeed News that his clients were not looking forward to the "very graphic and disturbing" footage being made public. However, Robbins, who has seen the video, said it was important that the public "learn the truth of what happened."

Van Dyke is no longer on the city's payroll, officials said.


Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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