Statement on Video of Chicago Police Shooting

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—December 8, 2014. University of Chicago Law Professor Craig Futterman and writer Jamie Kalven issued a statement today calling on the City of Chicago to release video footage of the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old black youth, on October 20.

On the basis of their investigation of the incident, Futterman and Kalven say that there is strong evidence that the shooting was not justified.

Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by a police officer at 41st and Pulaski.  Spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police, Pat Camden, said the boy was carrying a knife and threatened the officers.  

A witness disagrees, saying Laquan was shying away from the officers when he was first shot. Then, according to the witness, as Laquan lay writhing on the ground, the officer fired repeatedly into his body.

Chicago Police Department policy requires officers to activate their in-car cameras when in pursuit. There is almost certainly video footage of the incident.

“Sources report that a police officer repeatedly fired into the boy’s body as he lay on the ground,” said Futterman. “If they are correct, this isn’t a case of self defense. It’s an execution. The video should reveal the truth.”

Against the background of a series of recent deaths of black men at the hands of the police in Ferguson, New York, and Cleveland, Futterman and Kalven call on the City to release all video footage of the incident. They write:

Ultimately, the issue of transparency in this case turns on the question being posed by public demonstrations across the nation: how much do we, as a society dedicated to equality under law, value the lives of black lives?

Craig Futterman is Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he directs the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.

Jamie Kalven, a writer and human rights activist, is director of the Invisible Institute, a journalistic production company. He was the plaintiff in Kalven v. Chicago, a decision of the Illinois Appeals Court earlier this year that opened police misconduct files to the public.

Read their full statement here:


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