November 29, 2015. Chicago (ONN) Over a year ago, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing the teenager as he laid dying on a cold Chicago street. That evening, police commanders, police union leaders and Chicago city officials all went before news cameras and blatantly lied about the incident, falsely insisting the 17-year-old attacked Van Dyke with a knife. Now, thanks to multiple dash-cam videos, the truth is out - the police murdered McDonald and then destroyed video evidence to cover it up.
One second before 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by one CPD officer, the video clearly shows the teen walking away from officers.
Watch the video below.
It’s not the first time the Chicago police have broken the law, terrorizing, threatening and intimidating witnesses of police criminal activity into handing over video evidence so that it can be destroyed to protect the officers. In fact, recurring incidents suggest it happens far too often. This time, like so many others, the small business owners have come forward to expose the corruption and cover-ups that have plagued the city’s police department in recent years.
The October 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald at the hands of police officer Jason Van Dyke occurred in the middle of the street right outside of a Burger King restaurant. In fact, Van Dyke’s squad car camera clearly shows the officer driving over the restaurant’s front lawn as he pulled up to confront the walking McDonald.
Did Burger King’s surveillance cameras catch the grizzly murder? We’ll never know because, according to Grand Jury testimony by the restaurant’s manager that night, Chicago police officers forced their way into the Burger King’s office, broke into the restaurant’s computer and deleted that night’s security footage.
Jay Darshane, the Burger King manager working the fateful night of Laquan McDonald’s killing, testified before a Grand Jury that in the hours after the shooting, Chicago police officers forced their way into the restaurant and deleted the footage. He also told how the FBI also showed up and confiscated what was left of the evidence. That evidence now shows an 86-minute span from Burger King’s cameras that is mysteriously missing. Those 86 minutes just happen to coincide with the time McDonald was murdered.
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Unbelievably, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is still insisting that the Burger King manager and all the restaurant’s employees are wrong and his officers never tampered with the surveillance footage. And longtime police union spokesman Pat Camden is being accused of launching the cover-up by telling local media outlets on the night of the shooting that McDonald lunged at the officer with a drawn knife and Van Dyke had no choice but to shoot the teen 16 times. Every bit of both officials’ statements have turned out to be untrue.
Video released by the Chicago Police Dept of the killing of Laquan McDonald. Courtesy of CNN.
Recurring CPD cover-ups
This is hardly the first time Chicago police officers have been caught on camera beating or murdering innocent people while on duty. Just a small sampling reminds us of CPD officer Aldo Brown who was fired and convicted of kicking and punching a convenience store clerk in 2012 after the incident was caught on the retailer’s surveillance cameras.
Also in 2012, a jury found the Chicago Police Dept guilty of a massive cover-up in the 2007 case of CPD officer Anthony Abate who was caught by a tavern security camera brutally beating the tiny female bartender nearly to death after she refused to serve him anymore alcohol. The bar owner told of how various Chicago police officers paid him routine visits, threatening and intimidating him into turning over the bar’s video. The owner never did and the footage was the main reason Abate was convicted.
In 2013, the tiny female owner of a Chicago massage parlor was handcuffed behind her back and forced to kneel on the floor of her business while Chicago police officers violently brutalized her. The police accused her of attacking officers but the shop’s security footage proved they were lying and the charges against her were dropped when the video went public.
Perhaps the most notorious incident of a Chicago police murder and cover-up occurred in 2003, but wasn’t exposed until 2011. In that instance, CPD officer Alvin Weems shot and killed Michael Pleasance inside a CTA train station. Weems insisted Pleasance and a half dozen other men punched the officer and attempted to wrestle away his gun. The video footage from multiple cameras instead showed a lone Pleasance peacefully submitting to Weems’ orders, freezing and putting his hands up as dozens of rush hour commuters walked by only feet away.
The videos also show officer Weems accidently shooting Pleasance in the chest for no reason. But that didn’t stop responding CPD officers, homicide detectives, police commanders, the FOP union President, and the Superintendent of the CPD to knowingly submit false reports and false testimony to protect officer Alvin Weems. Even after confirming they had all seen the CTA footage of the killing, they all still stuck with the cover-up and lie. Officer Alvin Weems was since found shot to death inside his home.
Read 'Killed On Camera', compliments of our sister publication Whiteout Press, for more information.
All the way to the top
And let’s not forget the most reported-on incident of a Chicago police murder-cover-up. In 2004, then Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew, RJ Vanecko, was helped out of a manslaughter charge by Chicago police officers and Cook County State’s Attorneys after he killed a young David Koschman outside of a Chicago bar.
Together, both departments spent ten years sabotaging any legitimate investigation that might embarrass the notorious Mayor. Police files disappeared and were discovered years later at the home of the CPD detective investigating the case. That detective has since retired and now double-dips by working for the Illinois Attorney General, who also happens to be the daughter of the powerful Illinois House Speaker and Chair of the Illinois Democratic Party.
State’s Attorney throwing the case
In the most recent murder-cover-up, that of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has been tied to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy with outraged Chicago citizens demanding both their resignations. In Alvarez’s case, watchdog organizations are demanding to know why it took over a year for the video of McDonald’s murder to be released and why it took that long for officer Jason Van Dyke to be charged with a crime.
Even more telling, a small handful of Chicago ministers are citing cases in other cities and accusing the Cook County State’s Attorney of sabotaging the criminal case against officer Van Dyke. They point to the fact that Alvarez chose to charge the police officer with First Degree Murder. In past instances, juries have acquitted police officers because the killings were not ‘premeditated’ and thus don’t qualify for First Degree Murder. If the officers had been charged with Second Degree Murder, they would most likely have been convicted.
Since the dash-cam footage of the incident was made public earlier this week, there have been daily protests in Chicago with demonstrators demanding the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Each has refused such calls and the three have said they are standing together and not going anywhere.
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