CHICAGO (CBS) — A judge could rule as soon as next week on whether to release a video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting a teenager 16 times.
Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African-American armed with a knife, was shot by a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke, on Oct. 20, 2014, in the 4100 block of South Pulaski in the Archer Heights neighborhood.
U of C Law Professor Craig Futterman is pressing the city to release the squad car video from the encounter that night with McDonald because he says a witness tells him McDonald did not pose a threat that warranted the shooting.
“Far from the young man approaching any officer with a knife,” Futterman told WBBM’s Steve Miller in December. “After an officer got out of the car, the kid retreated and tried to shy away toward the fence and that’s when the officer first shot him, and he fell to the ground, dropping the knife.”
Futterman says video of the incident would reveal the truth – whether officers acted properly or improperly.
In a column in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune, John Kass spoke with sources who have seen the video.
“It shocks the conscience,” attorney Jeff Neslund, who represented the McDonald family, told Kass. “The video was disturbing. It was described accurately by one of the witnesses as an execution.”
Next week, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama is expected to rule whether the video should be released, Kass reported.
The officer who fired the shots claimed he was in fear of his life, though no other officers on the scene fired.
In April, the City Council, without debate, approved a $5 million settlement with the family.
Van Dyke has been the subject of 18 misconduct complaints during his CPD career, according to the Citizen’s Police Data Project.
The shooting is also the subject of a federal investigation.
Van Dyke as not been charged.