Behind The Story: NBC 5's Carol Marin on Covering The Laquan McDonald Shooting - NBC Chicago
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Behind The Story: NBC 5's Carol Marin on Covering The Laquan McDonald Shooting

"I think we always knew that this had the potential to be a huge investigation and a national story."

(Published Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015)

NBC 5 Chicago / WMAQ-TV won a George Foster Peabody Award for “The LaQuan McDonald Investigation,” the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced. The Peabody Awards, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective awards in electronic media.

In announcing the award, the Peabody Awards said of NBC 5 Chicago, “Launching its probe six months before a Chicago police officer was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald, WMAQ’s relentless, unrivaled reporting brought to light a host of police procedural infractions, official disinformation and outright lies, and contributed to a police department shake-up.”

The fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald caused a firestorm of national controversy that prompted the indictment of a Chicago police officer, the firing of the city's top cop, a Department of Justice investigation, a citywide protest and an apology from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose administration has been called into question and resignation demanded by leaders across the country.

NBC 5's Carol Marin first began digging into the case a year ago, weeks before the City Council approved a $5 million settlement for McDonald's family.

Marin was one of the first to report about 86 minutes of missing surveillance video from a nearby Burger King and the first talk to a Burger King district manager who said police deleted the security footage after spending more than three hours in the restaurant. Prosecutors have since said there is no evidence that the video had been tampered with.

Most recently, Marin's reporting helped lead to the release of the full McDonald shooting police report, which she requested seven months ago, and uncover City Hall emails that show Emanuel's administration received and sent emails about the video of the police shooting long before the mayor said he was fully briefed.

This is her story behind the story.

Why did you first decide to cover this story?

We got a tip that something serious had happened and that it conflicted with what the official account was. We’re always interested in that kind of story.

When did you realize this would blow up into a huge investigation?

I think we always knew that this had the potential to be a huge investigation and a national story. Anytime you have a young African American man on camera being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer as he moves away from – not towards – the officer, there is a series issue. And this nation was already confronting plenty of these kinds of story in Ferguson, Missouri and other places.

What are the central points of controversy?

The central points of controversy were the police account verses the account that you see right before you on the video. The fact that it was happening at a time when there was national unrest and demonstrations, and at a time when there was a contentious mayoral election, automatically everything is raised as a question of whether there was political intent behind it.

Mayor Emanuel says there was not, that it had nothing to do with the election. But the timing, which ended up acquainting the public with the circumstances of this shooting officially only five days after he had he had won a runoff election, still raises the specter that politics did on some level figure into this story.

How did you learn about the 86 missing minutes from the Burger King surveillance video?

We got another tip from someone saying that the night of the shooting Chicago police officers went across the street into the Burger King, which has all sorts of surveillance cameras, and wanted the password so they could look at the different videos from those different camera angles. And then the next day, a police agency came in and, what do you know? Eighty-six minutes was missing. So I started calling and fortunately the supervisor at Burger King was willing to talk about this.

Despite the video gap, the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez contends there was no tampering. What is the fallout from the Laquan McDonald shooting?

We don’t know what the fallout ultimately means, because it’s still falling out. We’re learning about more videos, we’re learning about more circumstances of shootings, we’re looking at more police settlements that had gone sort of by the boards unexamined and are now being truly examined. So I don’t think we have an answer yet. The Department of Justice is coming in to investigate the Chicago Police Department, we’re only in the beginning chapters of what feels like a very long book.  

LOOK BACK: COMPLETE COVERAGE OF LAQUAN MCDONALD 

April, 2016  


4/13/16 'Day of Reckoning': Task Force Releases Scathing Report on CPD

4/13/16 City Council Authorizes $6.5M in Police Misconduct Settlements

4/13/16 Emanuel Wants Hate Crime Probe for Racist Scanner Comments

4/13/16 Panel Warns Chicago Police Must Acknowledge Racism

4/8/16 Report: Chicago’s Ill-Fated Top Cop Search Cost $500,000

4/4/16 Chicago May Pay $4.9M to Family of Man Who Died in Custody

4/4/16 Emanuel Requests Hate Crime Investigation

4/1/16 Emanuel Makes List of “Most Disappointing Leaders”

 

March, 2016 


3/31/16 Jason Van Dyke Gets New Job With Fraternal Order of Police

3/31/16 Officer Jason Van Dyke Hired by Police Union

3/28/16 Mayor Announces Johnson as Interim Police Superintendent

3/28/16 Emanuel Chooses Top Cop, Rejects 3 Finalists: Sources

3/24/16 Chicago Black Caucus Wants Meetings With Top Cop Candidates

3/24/16 IPRA to Re-Examine All Closed Police-Involved Shootings

3/23/16 Officer Jason Van Dyke Asks Not to Appear at Hearings

3/18/16 Emanuel Offers No Timeline for Police Superintendent Replacement

3/17/16 3 Finalists Announced in Chicago Top Cop Search

3/17/16 Finalists for Chicago's Next Top Cop Revealed

3/16/16 CPD Union Seeks to Postpone IG’s McDonald Probe

3/16/16 Foxx on Win: 'This Work Is Deeply Personal to Me'

3/16/16 Embattled Anita Alvarez Loses to Kim Foxx

3/14/16 Chicago Police Investigate After Racial Slur Heard on Radio

3/14/16 How the Laquan McDonald Case Shaped the Illinois Primary

3/10/16 'Become a One-Issue Campaign': Alvarez Speaks on Criticisms

3/1/16 As Violence Escalates, Police Search for Answers

 

February, 2016  


2/25/16 Meet Chicago’s New FBI Chief

2/17/16 Chicago Vows to Release Police Shooting Videos Faster

2/16/16 Special Prosecutor Sought in Laquan McDonald Shooting Case

2/16/16 Emanuel Bumped From Top Spot of Most Powerful Chicagoans

2/12/16 Inverted Batteries to Blame for Lack of Laquan McDonald Audio: Docs

2/12/16 Docs Solve Mystery of Missing Audio in McDonald Video

2/11/16 Police Documents Show Why No Audio In McDonald Shooting

2/10/16 Ward Room Campaign Round-Up: Democratic U.S. Senate Candidates Square Off

2/10/16 City Expected to Settle Police Hiring Lawsuit

2/8/16 Alvarez Battles Opponents During Editorial Board Endorsement Sessions

2/8/16 Aldermen Halt Emanuel’s Plan to Raise Smoking Age

2/8/16 Garry McCarthy Being Considered for Top Cop Job in London: Report

2/5/16 Mom of Teen Fatally Shot by Police Calls for Federal Probe

2/4/16 Aldermen Look to Improve City's Mental Health Services

2/4/16 Report: CTU Garners Triple the Support of Emanuel

2/4/16 Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia Endorses Kim Foxx for State’s Attorney

2/4/16 Ward Room Campaign Round-Up: Week 2

2/2/16 Alvarez Holds Lead in Latest State’s Attorney Poll

2/1/16 Foxx Blasts Alvarez's Handling of McDonald Shooting in Campaign Ad

2/1/16 Many Iowa Republicans Undecided Before Caucuses

2/1/16 Rahm Emanuel’s Approval Rating Hits Record Low: Report

 

January, 2016 


1/26/16 Emanuel Mandates Police to Receive Training on Mental Illness

1/26/16 Van Dyke's Attorney Says He Plans to Seek a Change of Venue

1/26/16 Zopp Calls for Reforms to Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice System

1/26/16 Alvarez Challenged by Opponents During State's Attorney Debate

1/29/16 Police Developing New Strategy to Combat Crime, Emanuel Says

1/26/16 DC Police Chief Not Interested in Top Job With Chicago PD

1/25/16 Retired Philadelphia Police Chief Returns to Advise CPD

1/22/16 2 Officers in Laquan McDonald Case Put on Administrative Leave

1/21/16 Judge OKs Court Cameras for Jason Van Dyke Trial

1/19/16 Aldermen Propose Equipping Every Chicago Officer With a Taser

1/17/16 Bill Could Make it Harder for Police to Prevent Release of Videos

1/17/16 Hillary Clinton Walks Back Support for Emanuel

1/17/16 Anita Alvarez Defends Herself at State's Attorney Forum

1/15/16 Cops Called to Testify Before Grand Jury in McDonald Case

1/14/16 Cook County Dems Endorse Foxx for State's Attorney

1/13/16 Lawyer Blasts IPRA as Less Than Independent

1/13/16 Chicago Withdraws Objection to Release of Shooting Video

1/13/16 Chicago Police Street Stops May Have Decreased Due to New Form Procedure

1/12/16 Police Board Holds Meeting on Search for New Top Cop

1/12/16 Boycott of Mayor's MLK Invitation Grows

1/12/16 More City Leaders Boycott Mayor's MLK Breakfast

1/11/16 Judge to Decide This Week on 2013 Shooting Video's Release

1/10/16 WH Chief of Staff: Obama 'Confident' in Emanuel

1/10/16 Chicago Hires Former U.S. Attorney to Review Law Dept.

1/9/16 FBI Investigating 2013 Fatal CPD Shooting

1/8/16 McDonald Family Accused City of Intimidating Witnesses: Docs

1/8/16 Cook County Dems Reopen Slating Process for State's Attorney Race

1/7/16 Emanuel Says Law Department Will Be Reviewed

1/7/16 22 CPD Officers Disciplined for Improper Use of Dashcams

1/6/16 Ex-Chicago Attorney's Cases Examined After Judge's Ruling

1/5/16 Emanuel Says Federal Probe of City's Law Dept. Not Needed

1/5/16 Reparations Paid in Chicago Police Torture Case

1/5/16 Top City Lawyer Steps Down After Judge Rules He Hid Evidence

1/4/16 Sharon Fairley Restructures IPRA Leadership Team

1/3/16 Ill. Considers Allowing Recall Attempts of Chicago Mayor 


December, 2015 

 

12/31/15 City Releases Emails on Laquan McDonald Shooting

12/31/15 Activists March to Remember Victims of Gun Violence in 2015

12/30/15 Emanuel Meets With Family of Mother Killed in Police-Involved Shooting

12/30/15 Emanuel on New Taser Policy: 'Force Can Be the Last Option'

12/30/15 Emanuel to Announce Chicago Police Plan Wednesday

12/29/15 Officer Jason Van Dyke Enters Not Guilty Plea

12/24/15 Audio Reveals Taser Requested in McDonald Shooting

12/24/15 Demonstrators March on Michigan Ave. Over McDonald Shooting

12/23/15 Audio Reveals Taser Requested in McDonald Shooting

12/23/15 Emanuel Lands on List of 'The Worst People of 2015'

12/18/15 Angry Group Confronts Officer Jason Van Dyke Outside Court

12/18/15 Officer Jason Van Dyke Makes First Court Appearance Since Indictment

12/18/15 Behind The Story: Carol Marin on Covering Laquan McDonald

12/18/15 Protesters Flood State Street, Call for Justice

12/18/15 Sen. Mark Kirk Reacts to Laquan Mcdonald Shooting

12/18/15 Emanuel Flip Flops on DOJ Investigation, Now Supports It

12/17/15 Rev. Jackson to Lead Laquan McDonald Rally on State Street

12/17/15 Video From Burger King Near McDonald Shooting Released

12/17/15 Who Was Laquan McDonald?

12/17/15 Officials Release Full Laquan McDonald Police Report

12/17/15 Bernie Sanders Calls for Federal Probe of CPD

12/17/15 Madigan Calls for Investigation of Chicago Police Department

12/17/15 Retired Officers Say CPD Misconduct 'Going On for Years'

12/17/15 Mayor: City Will Support Release of Another Dashcam Video

12/17/15 Anita Alvarez Says 'No Way' She Will Consider Resigning

12/17/15 Rauner Says He Cried When He Saw McDonald Video

12/17/15 Questions Remain After Firing of Police Supt. McCarthy

12/17/15 Mayor Announces Task Force on Police Accountability

12/17/15 White House Expresses Support for Mayor Emanuel

12/17/15 Alvarez on Firing of McCarthy: 'It's the Mayor's Prerogative'

12/17/15 Dashcam Video Sought of Another Fatal Police Shooting

12/17/15 Foxx Earns Endorsements Over Embattled Alvarez

12/17/15 Email Reveals First Question to City About Laquan McDonald Video

12/17/15 McCarthy's Tenure Full of Highs and Lows

12/17/15 Politicians, Activists Praise Firing of McCarthy

12/17/15 John Escalante Named Interim Chicago Police Superintendent

12/17/15 Officer Charged in Laquan McDonald's Death Posts Bond

12/17/15 Rep. Gutierrez Withdraws Support for Alvarez's Re-Election

12/17/15 McCarthy: Initial Release on McDonald Shooting 'Mistaken'

12/17/15 McCarthy Fired Week After McDonald Shooting Video Released

12/17/15 NAACP: 10 Arrested at Protest Outside City Hall

12/17/15 Photos Show Officer at Burger King Night of McDonald's Death

12/17/15 Mayor Goes Silent After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

12/17/15 Anita Alvarez Responds to Calls for Her Resignation

12/17/15 Demands to Fire McCarthy Grow in Wake of Protests

12/17/15 Threat That Canceled Classes at UofC Cited McDonald Shooting

12/17/15 Fraternal Order of Police Raises Bond Money for Van Dyke

12/17/15 NAACP Members Protest Laquan McDonald Shooting

12/17/15 Dwyane Wade Pays Tribute to Laquan McDonald on Shoes

12/17/15 Chicago to Expand Police Body Camera Program

12/17/15 4 Arrested in Magnificent Mile Protests

12/17/15 Mag Mile Reopens After Protesters Block Traffic, Stores

12/17/15 Protesters March at City Hall for Laquan McDonald, Tyshawn Lee

12/17/15 Obama 'Deeply Disturbed' by Video of McDonald's Shooting

12/17/15 What Chicago Police Said The Night Laquan McDonald Died

12/17/15 Protesters Shut Down Mag Mile After Dash-Cam Video Release

12/17/15 Politicians Call For Reform In Wake of Laquan McDonald Shooting

12/17/15 Arrests Made After Protesters Damage City Christmas Tree

12/17/15 4 New Dash-Cam Videos Released of Laquan McDonald Shooting

12/17/15 Alvarez Gives Minute-by-Minute Report of Teen's Fatal Shooting

12/17/15 Missing Minutes From Security Video Raises Questions

12/17/15 Timeline: What Pros. Say Happened Night McDonald Was Shot

12/17/15 Investigator Analyzes Dash-Cam Video of Chicago Teen's Shooting

12/17/15 Images Capture Tense Moment Between Protesters, Police

12/17/15 Calls for Mayor's Resignation Flood Social Media

12/17/15 Questions Remain About Missing Audio in McDonald Dash-Cam Video

12/17/15 Chicago NAACP Chapters Call for Investigation Into IPRA

12/17/15 Records Show Officer in McDonald Case Had Previous Complaints

12/17/15 Charges Dropped Against Influential Activist After Arrest

12/17/15 Dash-Cam Video Shows Laquan McDonald's Fatal Shooting

12/17/15 Alvarez Addresses Missing Minutes From Security Video

12/17/15 5 Arrested During Overnight Protests for Laquan McDonald

12/17/15 Clinton, Sanders Speak Out About Laquan McDonald Video

12/17/15 Hundreds Protest After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

12/17/15 CPS Offers Counseling After Dash-Cam Video Release

12/17/15 Protesters March After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

12/17/15 Officer to Be Indicted in Laquan McDonald Case: Source

12/17/15 CPD Failed to Properly Probe Death of Teen Shot by Cop: Suit

12/17/15 6 Chicago Officers Named in Settlement Agreement

12/17/15 GoFundMe Removes Page to Help Cop Charged With Murder

12/17/15 McDonald Family Asks for 'Calm' Upon Video Release

12/17/15 City Leaders Fear for Release of Video of Teen's Shooting Death

12/17/15 Leaders Call for Peace Ahead of Potential Unrest

12/17/15 Jesse Jackson Speaks Out on Laquan McDonald

12/17/15 Grand Jury Indicts Officer in Laquan McDonald's Death

12/17/15 Audio Missing on Video of Teen Shot by Cop: Attys

12/17/15 Judge Orders Release of Video Showing Teen's Shooting Death

12/17/15 Ben Carson Calls McDonald Shooting 'Abominable'

12/16/15 Board Calls on Alvarez to Appear Before Criminal Justice Committee

12/16/15 Department of Justice Begins Probe Into CPD

12/16/15 Urban Prep Academy Students Yell "16 Shots" During Mayor's Visit

12/16/15 Cop in Laquan McDonald Case Tied to Another Police Shooting

12/16/15 Chicago Protest Against Cop-Involved Shooting Blocks Traffic

12/15/15 Cops Want Emanuel to Testify About Police 'Code of Silence'

12/15/15 After Deadlock, Baltimore Jurors Continue in Officer Trial

12/15/15 City Hall Emails Show Trail to Top Emanuel Aides

12/15/15Protesters Accused of Trying to Climb Rockefeller Center Tree

12/13/15 The Rise of the New Chicago Protesters

12/13/15 Chance the Rapper References McDonald Shooting on ‘SNL’

12/12/15 Mayor Emanuel is Back in Hiding 

12/11/15 Activists Call for DOJ to Expand Investigation in Chicago

12/11/15 'Change Is Needed': McDonald Family Speaks Out

12/11/15 Pastors Seek Special Prosecutor in McDonald Case

12/10/15 Expert: Process of Recalling Rahm 'Not a Quick Possibility'

12/10/15 Protesters Continue to Call for Mayor's Resignation

12/10/15 Sheriff's Officers Were at Scene of Laquan McDonald Shooting

12/10/15 Expert Says Recalling Mayor Emanuel Would Not Be an Easy Process

12/10/15 Police Board Begins Search for New Chicago Police Superintendent

12/10/15 Mayor's Office Responds to Recall Legislation

12/10/15 Illinois Lawmaker Files Legislation to Remove Mayor Emanuel

12/9/15 Protesters Block Traffic in March Through Downtown Chicago

12/9/15 Some in City Hall Knew of McDonald Video 2 Months After Shooting: Emails

12/9/15 'Happened on My Watch': Mayor Vows to Fix Police Corruption

12/9/15 Poll: Half of Chicago Voters Think Emanuel Should Resign

12/9/15 Chicago Cop Charged With Murder in Teen's Fatal Shooting

12/8/15 IPRA Asks Inspector General to Investigate McDonald Case

12/7/15 Feds Launch Civil Rights Investigation into CPD Practices

12/7/15 Dashcam Video Showing 2nd Police Shooting Released

12/7/15 CPD's Chief of Detectives Retires Suddenly

12/7/15 Head of Independent Police Review Authority Resigns

12/7/15 Justice Department to Investigate CPD

12/6/15 Police Accounts Appear to Differ With McDonald Shooting Video

12/5/15 Officials Release Full Laquan McDonald Police Report

12/4/15 Video From Burger King Near McDonald Shooting Released 

12/4/15 Chicago's Interim Cop Talks Potential Federal Probe

12/4/15 Bernie Sanders Calls for Federal Probe of CPD

12/4/15 Rev. Jackson to Lead Laquan McDonald Rally on State Street

12/3/15 Emanuel Flip Flops on DOJ Investigation, Now Supports It

12/3/15 Family Fights to Have Video of Another Teen's Fatal Shooting Released

12/3/15 Mayor: City Will Support Release of Another Dashcam Video

12/3/15 Rauner Says He Cried When He Saw McDonald Video

12/3/15 Anita Alvarez Says 'No Way' She Will Consider Resigning

12/3/15 Retired Officers Say CPD Misconduct 'Going on For Years'

12/2/15 Madigan Calls for Investigation of CPD

12/2/15 Clinton Calls for Federal Probe of Chicago Police Tactics

12/1/15 Mayor Announces Task Force on Police Accountability

12/1/15 McCarthy: Initial Release on McDonald Shooting 'Mistaken'

 

November, 2015 


11/30/15 Photos Show Officer at Burger King Night of McDonald's Death

11/30/15 Officer Charged in Laquan McDonald's Death Posts Bond

11/30/15 Threat That Canceled Classes at UofC Cited McDonald Shooting

11/30/15 Mayor Goes Silent After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

11/30/15 Anita Alvarez Responds to Calls for Her Resignation

11/30/15 Demands to Fire McCarthy Grow in Wake of Protests

11/29/15 Dwyane Wade Pays Tribute to Laquan McDonald on Shoes

11/29/15 Fraternal Order of Police Raises Bond Money for Van Dyke

11/28/15 Protesters March at City Hall for Laquan McDonald, Tyshawn Lee

11/28/15 4 Arrested in Mag Mile Protests

11/27/15 What Chicago Police Said the Night Laquan McDonald Died

11/27/15 Protesters Shut Down Mag Mile After Dash-Cam Video Release

11/26/15 Laquan McDonald Was Trying to Start Over: School

11/26/15 4 New Dash-Cam Videos Released of Laquan McDonald Shooting

11/26/15 Arrests Made After Protesters Damage City Christmas Tree

11/26/15 Obama 'Deeply Disturbed' by Video of McDonald's Shooting

11/25/15 Clinton, Sanders Speak Out After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

11/25/15 Chicago NAACP Chapters Call for Investigation Into IPRA

11/25/15 Protesters Plan March on Michigan Avenue on Black Friday

11/15/15 Calls for Mayor's Resignation Flood Social Media After Dash-Cam Video Release

11/25/15 Chicago Braces for Protests Following Dash-Cam Video Release

11/25/15 Charges Dropped Against Influential Activist After Arrest

11/25/15 Timeline: What Prosecutors Say Happened the Night Laquan McDonald Was Shot

11/25/15 Chicago's Black Caucus Calls for McCarthy's Release

11/25/15 5 Arrested During Overnight Protests for Laquan McDonald

11/24/15 Records Show Officer in McDonald Case Had Previous Complaints

11/24/15 CPS Offers Counseling After Released of McDonald Video

11/24/15 Protesters March After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

11/24/15 WARNING: Dash-Cam Video Showing Teen's Fatal Shooting Released

11/24/15 Alvarez Addresses Missing Minutes From Security Video

11/24/15 Alvarez Gives Minute-by-Minute Report of Teen's Fatal Shooting

11/24/15 Family of Laquan McDonald Asks for 'Calm' Upon Release of Dash-Cam Video

11/24/15 Alvarez Defends Timing of Charges in Laquan McDonald Case

11/24/15 GoFundMe Removes Page Seeking Donations for Chicago Cop Charged With Murder

11/24/15 Chicago Cop Charged With Murder in Teen's Fatal Shooting

11/23/15 Community Leaders Call for Peace Ahead of Potential Unrest

11/23/15 Who Was Laquan McDonald?

11/23/15 Officer to Be Indicted in Laquan McDonald Case: Source

11/21/15 Jesse Jackson Speaks Out on Laquan McDonald

11/20/15 Attorney: Cop Accused in Teen's Fatal Shooting 'Scared to Death'

11/19/15 Judge Orders Release of Video Showing Teen's Shooting Death

11/18/15 Ill. Attorney General Asks Chicago to Release Shooting Video

11/14/15 Emanuel: Hold Release of Video of Shooting

11/13/15 Chicago Police Dashboard Cameras Questioned in Death of Teen Shot by Cop

 

October, 2015 


10/28/15 Judge to Rule on Video Showing Officer Fatally Shooting Teen

 

July, 2015 


7/16/15 Audio Missing on Video of Teen Shot by Cops: Attys

7/9/15 City Emails Refer to Complications in Police Version of How Teen Was Shot

7/2/15 Six Chicago Officer Named in Settlement Agreement

 

May, 2015 


5/27/15 Missing Minutes From Security Video Raises Question

5/12/15 CPD Failed to Properly Probe Death of Teen Shot by Cop: Suit

4/15/15 Chicago Council Approves $5M Settlement in Police Shooting

4/14/15 Feds Probe Death of Teen Shot 16 Times by Cop

 

October, 2014 


10/21/14 Teen Shot, Killed by Police Officer on Chicago's Southwest Side

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