It has been over a year since Laquan McDonald died after being shot sixteen times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, a shooting that is still under investigation. Police cam footage, which was released a few weeks ago, shows McDonald being shot and continue to being shot after falling to the ground.
In addition to the footage, there is a report by at least one police officer that despite McDonald’s having a knife, there was no need to use deadly force, particularly since McDonald did not try to attack any of the officers at the scene. There are also reports that other video footage (from police cameras and elsewhere) may have had coverage of the shooting.
The footage from the police video has set off protests in Chicago, as well as the fact that McDonald is black and Van Dyke is white. This would appear to be repeat of Ferguson. However, the police cam footage calls into question whether or not the shooting was justified. In addition, Van Dyke is said to have had numerous complaints filed against him, and supposedly was involved in a cover up of another police shooting in 2005.
Such protests might be justified in this case, but holding protests in the business district is unnecessary, since it infringes on the rights of private citizens who are just trying to earn a living and have nothing to do with the shooting whatsoever. In addition, such protests have a tendency to include leftists and other agitators.
So why was the footage released a year after the shooting occurred? Was it because releasing it sooner would interfere with the investigation? Was it because of the protests in Ferguson, New York City, etc.? Or was it because Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was up for re-election this year, and releasing the footage sooner would jeopardize his chances of being re-elected? Meanwhile, the Justice Department is now investigating the shooting, and some speculate Emanuel’s ties to Obama have played a role in the Justice Department’s not investigating sooner (something which happened with Ferguson and other shootings).
The protesters did score one victory: the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who is practically one of Emanuel’s minions. This is because shortly after becoming Police Superintendent in 2011, McCarthy blamed firearms manufacturers for inner-city violence, particularly the death of blacks and Hispanics. He also took a shot (no pun intended) at Sarah Palin, saying that after coming home from a couple of murder investigations in Newark, New Jersey (where he was previously Police Chief) he turned on the television and saw her discussing the right to bear arms, in which he then asked why she was not at the scene of the crime. I have no doubt that Emanuel (who was present while McCarthy made such remarks) gave his full approval.
McCarthy is history, and the protesters are calling for Emanuel to resign. If he were to do so, that could be beneficial for Chicago, given his past. Let’s face it, Rahm Emanuel is a complete dirt bag. If you don’t believe me, then check out his profile here.
The outcome of the investigation is yet to be determined (at both the state and federal levels). I wonder if the same can be said for Emanuel’s political career. Only time will tell.