Laquan McDonald Family’s Attorneys React To DOJ Report

CHICAGO (CBS) – It was the release of the graphic Laquan McDonald shooting video that sparked the Justice Department investigation.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke with McDonald’s attorneys and the man who pushed to get that video released.

The video that started it all – Laquan McDonald getting shot 16 times by a Chicago Police officer.

“It is a shame that it took that, to have national and internal attention to the Chicago Police Department,” said Jeff Neslund, Laquan McDonald’s family attorney.

McDonald’s family attorneys have looked over the DOJ’s findings, not surprised by what is inside.

“This is as everyone has recognized, just a first step,” Neslund said. “You got to recognize the problem.”

Jason Van Dyke, the officer charged in McDonald’s killing was involved in three police shootings within that same year, with little consequence, according to the DOJ report.

“It is the culture within the police department that allows a small group of officers to engage in repeated patterns of misconduct with no consequences whatsoever,” said attorney, Michael Robbins.

“I think this is a really significant moment,” said journalist, Jaime Kalven.

Independent journalist, Jamie Kalven was instrumental in the release of the Laquan McDonald video.

“We aren’t just dealing with a breakdown of a functioning set of systems,” Kalven said. “We are dealing with forms of structural violence built into these instaurations.”

The graphic video, the tipping point for the Chicago Police Department exposing a broad culture and history of problems, the DOJ report finding only one in six of CPD’s new recruits can articulate the legan standard for deadly force.

“That certainly gives you pause,” Neslund said. “You hope they are getting the training in the academy before they hit the street and anyone gives them a weapon.”

CBS 2 reached out to Jason Van Dyke’s legal team seeking comment, but they cannon talk about the case due to a gag order.

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