Email Reveals First Question to City About Laquan McDonald Video

The very first question surrounding dashcam video of the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald came on Dec. 8, 2014, from independent journalist Jamie Kalven, NBC 5 Investigates found.

“There is almost certainly video footage of the incident,” Kalven wrote on the website The Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based watchdog group. “CPD policy requires officers to activate their in-car cameras when in pursuit.”

That same day, Claire Bushey, a reporter for, sent an e-mail at 5:54 pm to the city Law Department.

“I’d like to ask Mr. Patton [Corporation Counsel] whether the city will release the video,” Bushey asked.

Both the Kalven article and the Bushey request are parts of emails to and from city officials released to NBC 5 through a Freedom of Information Act Request.

McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer on Oct. 20, 2014.

A Law Department spokesperson at 6:03 p.m. sent an email stating, “This reporter also just called me to make certain that I received the email.”

The following day Bushey wrote a story headlined, “If Chicago police have video of teen shooting, let’s see it: advocates.”

City emails show that the city Law Department reached out to the Chicago Police Department on Nov. 14, 2014, asking for copies of “all in-car videos” for two of the beat cars on the scene that night, including the vehicle in which Officer Jason Van Dyke was traveling.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, saying the "trust and the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded."

Both Emanuel and McCarthy have faced mounting criticism over the handling of the Laquan McDonald case, with many citing the 13 months it took to charge the officer involved.

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