CHICAGO — Newly released evidence in a Chicago police officer's October 2014 killing of a 17-year-old contradicts initial accounts from the time.
Last October the Fraternal Order of Police told the Chicago Tribune that 17-year-old Laquan McDonald punctured a police car tire after being confronted by officers. According to charging documents, McDonald was on PCP at the time. The police union explained that he lunged at officer Jason Van Dyke, who opened fire in defense and killed him with a shot to his chest.
However new evidence — charging documents and dashcam footage obtained by DNAinfo — contradicts the Fraternal Order of Police account provided to the Chicago Tribune.
According to the prosecution, witnesses and other officers did not see McDonald lunge, advance or perform any threatening action against Van Dyke. They say he fired 16 shots at McDonald in roughly 15 seconds.
Citing the medical examiner, the prosecution say that only two shots — to McDonald's right lower back and right upper leg — were fired while he was standing. The prosecution add that he also received gunshot wounds to his scalp, neck, chest, arms and legs.
Dashcam footage, released after freelance journalist Brandon Smith filed a freedom-of-information request, corroborates that McDonald did not lunge or advance toward Van Dyke at any point prior to his death. Hours before the video was released, prosecutors ordered Van Dyke be held without bond on a charge of first degree murder, the Chicago Tribune reported.