VIDEO: Chicago Police-Involved Shooting of Laquan McDonald; Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez Describes Shooting


WARNING: Graphic Video, viewer discretion is advised. Chicago Police released dashcam video that shows a police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on October 20, 2014 (Shooting occurs just after 5:30 elapsed time).

Timeline for the Shooting of Laquan McDonald Oct. 20, 2014
9:47 p.m. Police dispatched to a report that a man was holding a man that was caught breaking into trucks and stealing radios at 41st and Kildare. The male offender was later identified as Laquan McDonald.

9:53 p.m. Beat car reports that “the guy” is walking away with a knife in his hand. Dispatcher asks if any other units have a Taser. A beat car responded immediately that they were on their way, but did not specify whether they had a Taser.

9:54 p.m. Another unit radioed that the suspect was walking near a Burger King on Pulaski Road.

9:56 p.m. A beat car unit radioed that the suspect used a knife to slash the tire on their squad car.

9:56 p.m. Beat car 845R radioed that they were two blocks away from the incident. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, charged with murder today, was a passenger in that beat car as his partner drove the beat car to the scene.

A total of eight police officer arrived at the scene. None of the officers had Tasers.

One police car captured dashcam video of the scene.

Other videos did not effectively capture the shooting.

9:57:25 p.m. Laquan McDonald was walking and waved his right arm with the knife visible in his right hand. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke and his partner parked their vehicle, exited and immediately drew their weapons. Laquan McDonald at this point appears to be walking slightly away from the officers in the middle of Pulaski toward the west side of Pulaski Road.

9:57:36 Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke with his weapon drawn is shown to take a step toward Laquan McDonald as McDonald takes a step across the white dividing line away from the police officers. The officer opened fire on Laquan McDonald, whose arm jerks, his body spins around, and he falls to the ground. While McDonald is falling to the ground, Van Dyke takes at least one more step towards him at which point “the angle of the dash camera changes and we can no longer see the officer within the frame of the video. Two seconds later Laquan McDonald is lying in the street on his right side, and the video captures what appears to be two puffs of smoke. The puffs of smoke were later determined to be clouds of debris from bullets

In the 13 seconds that Laquan McDonald has been on the ground his body has jerked and his arms have moved slightly, and there have been three visible clouds of debris — indicating shots hitting the pavement near Laquan McDonald’s body.

9:57:54 Officer Van Dyke’s partner approaches Laquan McDonald’s body and kicks the knife out of his hand.The knife was later retrieved and determined to have a 3-inch blade that folded into the handle.

Officer Van Dyke was armed with a 9 mm caliber semi-automatic pistol with a 16-round capacity. When Van Dyke appeared to be reloading his weapon, his partner told him to hold his fire so he could kick the knife away. Chicago Police Department investigators recovered 16 fired cartridge cases, and the Illinois State Police determined that all the cartridges were fired from officer Van Dyke’s weapon.

Van Dyke was on the scene less than 30 seconds when the shooting occurred, and less than 6 second after he got out of his police vehicle.

Fourteen to 15 seconds passed from the time of the first shot fired by Van Dyke and the video evidence of the last shot. For approximately 13 of those seconds Laquan McDonald was down on the street. Van Dyke was the only officer that fired his weapon.

Laquan McDonald had a pulse at the scene when Chicago Fire Department paramedics arrived at the scene, but paramedics lost his pulse in the ambulance on the way to Mount Sinai Hospital. At the hospital, resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez on the death of Laquan McDonald and charges against Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. | Ashlee Rezin/For the Sun-Times

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy held a news conference on Tuesday addressing the release of a dash cam video featuring a 2014 fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald (PBS NewsHour).

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