CHICAGO — The family of 17-year old Laquan McDonald is speaking out while the city prepares to make police dashcam video of his shooting death public.
“My nephew is shot in the back and all of those other places 16 times. Even when he was on the ground, the officer was still shooting him,” said McDonald’s uncle, Shyrell Johnson.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, a judge ordered the city to release the video by Wednesday, Nov. 26. city officials do not plan to appeal. The attorney representing the police officer says his client “feared for his life” and the video does not show the full story.
“Despite the graphic nature of the video, we’re confident that my client’s actions were not only lawful, but also within department policy and within his training,” said the officer’s attorney, Daniel Herbert.
McDonald was shot and killed in October 2014 near 41st and Pulaski on Chicago’s southwest side. At the time, a police spokesperson said McDonald had lunged at officers with a knife.
Johnson says McDonald’s relatives do not want the video released because it would be too painful for their family and the community to watch over and over again, but they do want charges filed against the officer who remains on paid desk duty while local and federal authorities investigate.