Chicago Cop Charged for the Murder of 17-Year-Old Laquan McDonald (UPDATE)

Dashcam footage revealed he shot the teen 16 times.

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Complex Original

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UPDATE (11/24/15 6:30 PM):

The Chicago Police Department released a video Tuesday evening of dash-cam footage that captured the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke. McDonald can be seen walking away from police vehicles before hitting the ground. It was reported by Van Dyke's partner in court that he then continued to fire shots.

Bracing for the public’s response, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel held a news conference ahead of the video’s release.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy made comments ahead of Mayor Emmanuel, clarifying that Van Dyke is currently on "no-pay status" per a contract with the Fraternal Order of Police. He also noted that while people have a right to be angry and protest after the video’s release, "We will be intolerant of criminal activity."

Shortly thereafter, Mayor Emmanuel took the podium. While clarifying that he is proud of the work being done by the policemen and women for their Chicago community, he called the "episode" an "opportunity for learning."

"I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than barriers of misunderstanding," he said. Citing the wishes of the McDonald family, he said they encouraged peaceful protesting and asked for no violence in Laquan’s name.

WARNING: graphic video.

See original story below.

A white Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting a black teen on Oct. 20, 2014, authorities say. Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged after dash-cam footage revealed he had fired at 17-year-old Laquan McDonald a total of 16 times.

The event reportedly took place after Van Dyke arrived at the scene where he'd been informed that a man, McDonald, was wielding a knife. With his back turned to Van Dyke, McDonald was reportedly then shot 16 times from a distance of 15 feet.

"At the hearing, the judge revealed that prosecutors claim Van Dyke attempted to reload after emptying his entire 15-round magazine and a 16th chambered bullet into McDonald until another officer told him to hold his fire," reports the Daily Beast. Van Dyke's partner also told prosecutors that McDonald was still breathing when he hit the ground, but Van Dyke continued to fire.

The Daily Beast points out the indictment makes Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, the first officer in Chicago's history to be charged with first-degree murder related to an on-duty shooting, adding:

Van Dyke has been the subject of 18 complaints ranging from using racial epithets to excessive force to illegally arresting people, according to personnel records obtained by the Invisible Institute, a police-accountability nonprofit.

Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama has ordered the dash-cam footage of the shooting to be released this week no later than Wednesday, despite a city settlement with the victim's family for a reported $5 million, according to BuzzFeed.

Citing discrepancies between the official version of the incident and eyewitness accounts, as well the footage seen by attorneys for the McDonald family, Smith argued that Chicago police had violated the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to release the video after taking “repeated bad faith extensions of time to respond” to his multiple requests over two months.

BuzzFeed adds the cam footage was reportedly ordered to be released after Brandon Smith, a freelance journalist, filed a lawsuit in August against the Chicago's police department for refusing to release it, reportedly claiming it would "jeopardize the ongoing investigation."

The next day, when an investigator from the Independent Police Review Authority asked to view the security footage, it was discovered that the 86 minutes of video was missing.

New York Daily News' Shaun King says activists have demanded the release for well over a year, "in great part because the attorney for the family made it abundantly clear that what was on the video was so heinous, so egregious, that he called it 'an execution.'"

It was also later reported that police had seized and deleted additional video surveillance footage from the Burger King parking lot near the location of the shooting. That footage could have proven useful to investigators, however District Manager for Burger King Jay Darshane tellsNBC that "four to five police officers" asked to see the footage and were given the admin passwords.

"We had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files," Darshane told NBC. "I mean we were just trying to help the police officers."

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