Two days after a judge ruled that Chicago police must release video said to show an officer fatally shooting a Chicago teen 16 times, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. shared a strong reaction to Laquan McDonald’s death.
“This is an act of suppressing evidence which is shameful and adds to the distrust and fear of police officers,” said Jackson in a statement. “The attempt to cover up the shooting borders on the line of the act itself.”
Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama told a packed courtroom Thursday that the department must reveal dashcam footage that captures the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014 at the hands of a white police officer. He added that he "spent a considerable amount of time" making his decision.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel previously said it would be premature to release video of a white Chicago police officer fatally shooting an African-American teen because of an on-going FBI investigation.
An attorney for McDonald's family said the video shows the teen holding a small knife and walking away from officers when one unexpectedly opens fire, spraying the teen with more than a dozen bullets and continuing to fire as McDonald lies lifeless on the ground.
An autopsy confirmed McDonald was shot a total of 16 times and showed he had PCP in his system.
The city has paid $5 million to the McDonald family, but there have since been calls for the officer’s firing. He was placed on desk duty following the shooting and has not been charged in the incident.
“There seems to be more concern about rebellion than justice; which is another reason why seventy-five percent of police murders are unsolved,” said Jackson. “We cried when over 130 people were killed in France and they did not stop until the killers were captured; yet 400 have been killed in Chicago and 2500 shot. We need equal protection under the law. We are in state of emergency.”
Rev. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition will be dedicating a block for McDonald at the Kids off the Block memorial, located at 11624 South Michigan Avenue today at 12:30 p.m.