Chicago Protests Respond to Released Footage of Shooting

Immediately after the release of the dash-cam video showing officer Jason Van Dyke shooting and killing teenager Laquan McDonald, protests emerged in Chicago. Hundreds of people have converged on the avenues of Chicago. They have blocked storefronts and street ways, in order to make an economic impact. They plan on keeping the protests alive and peaceful, only hindering access to stores that are popular to Chicago shoppers on Black Friday.

The protesters were seen surrounded by police cars. They remain blocked off by rows of officers at ready in case violence is to break out. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has even encouraged protest and debate, specifying that he hopes it remains controlled and focused.

The video released details officer Van Dyke opening fire only six seconds after arriving on the scene. Two police cars are clearly visible, having arrived in response to a 911 call. The 911 call was for Laquan McDonald, who was seen acting erratically in a truck yard. When Van Dyke opened fire, Laquan was seen walking away from the officers surrounding him, heading for the sidewalk. He was shot before he made it across, and was continued to be shot at multiple times. His body twitches dramatically after the initial shots are impacted, he continues twitching on the floor as the multiple shots are fired. Van Dyke then is seen kicking a three inch knife out of Laquan’s hand, a knife three inches shorter than the illegal length.

Laquan McDonald walking away from police. Seconds before being shot to death.

The community was hoping for transparency from the police force, in insisting on having the footage released publicly. In response to the police fighting against its release, friction and unrest has sparked between the community and the Chicago PD.

In response to the video, the protests have begun growing and the debates have been heating up. Officer Jason Van Dyke has been arrested, nearly a year after the shooting. With the release of the footage, the protests remaining focused and calm, we may be looking at peaceful demonstrations that could result in more transparency in the future and hopefully less murder convicted by law enforcement officers. 

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