CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge on Thursday ordered Chicago police to release dashboard camera video of a white officer fatally shooting a black teen last year.
Initially, city attorneys said they planned to appeal the ruling because it could interfere with criminal investigations into the death. Later Thursday, they reversed course, with Mayor Emanuel saying the officer in question “violated” the public trust.
The video shows a Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014.
Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama said police must release the video by Nov. 25.
City attorneys immediately filed a motion to halt the release of the video, but the judge denied their request, noting they have time to request a stay of his ruling from the appellate court before they would otherwise have to make the video public.
Later, city attorneys dropped plans to pursue more legal action. Emanuel said the city will comply by Nov. 25.
“Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents. In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level. As a result, the city’s Independent Police Review Authority promptly sent this case and the evidence to state and federal prosecutors who have been investigating it for almost a year,” he said in a prepared statement.
Prosecutors were not in court to make any objections about the video’s release.
“It’s our understanding that there will be an indictment. We fully expect that the feds will do the right thing in this case, and this officer will be brought to justice. And the video will be used, obviously, as evidence against him at trial,” Jeff Neslund, one of the attorneys representing McDonald’s family, told reports.
Reporters asked the free-lance journalist who filed the freedom of information request for the video whether he was concerned about potential violence the video could spark.
That journalist, Brandon Smith, said: “I support protesters. If they’re angry, they can be angry.”
Police have said McDonald was under the influence of PCP, and slashing the tires of several cars with a 4-inch folding knife, when he refused police officers’ orders to drop the weapon.