Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Tribune Says Cops Have More McDonald Tapes

CHICAGO (CN) - The Chicago Tribune wants to intervene in the FOIA case that forced police to release the video of Laquan McDonald being shot to death, claiming there are other videos still being withheld.

Brandon Smith, a freelance journalist, won the public release of the video of Officer Jason Van Dyke killing Laquan McDonald, shooting him 16 times, causing uproar in Chicago.

Smith sued after the city refused to release the video of the October 2014 killing, and Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama ruled in November that the police had to release it.

The Tribune filed a motion to intervene in Thursday. Like Smith, several Tribune reporters filed FOIA requests for the video, and Chicago police rejected them.

The Tribune claims: "Video from only five of the eight police vehicles that responded to the incident has been provided. No video has been provided for three of those vehicles, including one that is directly facing Officer Van Dyke during the entirety of the shooting incident."

The Tribune also questioned why the released videos include the faint noise of sirens, but no audio of officers talking.

The police department claims the audio on all the dashboard cameras was not working or was not activated on the night of McDonald's death.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Police Chief Garry McCarthy last week, after first standing behind the commander, then supported calls for a Justice Department investigation after opposing them.

Since the video's release on Nov. 24, Emanuel has faced increasing calls for his own resignation, which he rejected.

In a Friday opinion piece published by the Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times, Emanuel wrote: "I take responsibility for what happened and I will fix it. Nothing less than complete and total reform of the system and the culture will meet the standards we have to set for ourselves."

But Emanuel wrote that he "strongly reject[ed] the suggestion that the videotape of the McDonald shooting was withheld from the public because of the election," in which Emanuel faced a contest from Alderman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who had support from Chicago's black community.

Emanuel claims he did not see the video until shortly before its release, because it is not his practice to review evidence before prosecutors have finished their investigation - a statement which some have taken to implicitly blame Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for taking so long to charge Officer Van Dyke with murder.

Alvarez too has rejected calls for her resignation.

A hearing on the Tribune's motion to intervene is set for Thursday, Dec. 17.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.

Loading...