NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, November 23, 2015, 9:38 PM
The Chicago police officer who shot teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times last year is expected to be charged for first-degree murder Tuesday, the day before footage of the shocking shooting is finally released, according to a local report.
Officer Jason Van Dyke, who has been on paid desk duty since the shooting last October, would be the first Chicago cop to face that charge for an on-duty death in nearly 35 years, the Chicago Tribune reported.
McDonald, who was 17 and black, had his body ravaged by bullets last October moments after the white officer responded to a call of a man wielding a knife. Police said the teen was holding a knife when he was shot, and an autopsy report showed he had the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his system.
Ever since his death, advocates have been fighting for the release of dash cam footage allegedly showing the teen walking away from Van Dyke before the officer fires into his back from about 15 feet away, and keeps firing after McDonald hits the ground.
After a lawsuit from a freelance journalist, a judge ruled last week the police department must release the video no later than this Wednesday, and it has still yet to emerge.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel apparently feared violent protests upon the video’s release, and urged Chicago citizens to keep the peace once the footage is put out.
“People have a right and should exercise their First Amendment rights,” he told reporters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Do it in a focused way, a responsible way so your voices and ideas are heard.”
Emanuel on Monday called the shooting “hideous” and said it had “no justification,” but said he hadn’t seen the footage.