Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade steps on the court for Friday nights game against New York Knicks wearing sneakers he dedicated in memory of Laquan McDonald. The NBA superstar, and Chicago native shares his concern for justice showing support and bringing awareness to the NBA.
The night Laquan was murdered Via ChicagoTribune
Laquan McDonal was walking down the middle of Pulaski Road toward the flashing blue lights of the police cruisers trying to stop him. With a tug of his pants and a quickened step, the teen veers away from them.
Two officers jump from their vehicle, guns drawn. McDonald keeps moving, apparently trying to pass the officers who are several feet to his left. McDonald, holding something in his right hand, swings his right arm in the split second before an officer opens fire.
The force of the bullets spins McDonald around. His legs stiffen as he falls backward to the pavement. The teen rolls onto his right side in the middle of the roadway.
There is no sound on the controversial dash-cam video released late Tuesday afternoon by the city, only startling images that show a white Chicago police officer unloading 16 rounds on an African-American teen, who though armed with a small knife appeared to be trying to get away, police said. The video captures 15 seconds of shooting. For 13 seconds of it, McDonald is lying on the street.
Two clouds of smokelike debris silently puff upward immediately after McDonald falls. His head appears to lift, his arm moves. Then more bullets. Another cloud of white debris kicks up from behind his head.
And then it is over. The teen lies on the road for nearly a minute alone, still breathing
Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 slaying of McDonald, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, scalp, neck, back, arms and right hand and leg in the shooting in the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road. Van Dyke, 37, has been ordered held without bail until at least his next court appearance Monday.
The first two officers on the scene trailed McDonald for nearly a half-mile, from a trucking yard where he had been breaking into vehicles through a Burger King parking lot and onto busy Pulaski Road. As officers awaited backup units armed with Tasers, they tried to corral McDonald to keep him away from passers-by. At one point, McDonald used the knife to slash the front tire of a squad car trying to block his path.
According to the video, Van Dyke and his partner arrived 10 minutes after the first call. Their weapons were drawn as they stepped from the Chevrolet Tahoe. Within six seconds of exiting the police car, Van Dyke opened fire. Fifteen seconds later, he had emptied his 16-round handgun, authorities said.
His partner asked him to hold his fire as Van Dyke reloaded, authorities said.
Van Dyke’s partner then walked to McDonald’s body and kicked a knife with a 3-inch blade out of his hand.
The teen was alive when paramedics arrived but died on the way to the hospital, authorities said.
In outlining the charges, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the officers first on the scene said they felt no need to use force on the teen.
Police said McDonald, who had PCP in his system when he died, was behaving erratically and refusing police commands to drop the folding knife. At the time of the shooting, the police union maintained that the officer fired in fear for his life because the teen lunged at him and his partner with the knife.
Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, has said the footage from the dash cam captures only one aspect of the shooting. In court Tuesday, he told Judge Donald Panarese Jr. there was a “valid defense” in the case.
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