*Breaking News: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has just fired the city’s police chief, Garry F. McCarthy, after the city’s police department came under fire for resisting, for more than a year, release of a video showing officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times.
Since McDonald’s murder on October 14 last year, numerous questions have been asked as to why the teen was shot 16 times at point blank range by Van Dyke—who not only emptied his pistol on the young man, but reloaded while he was laying on the ground. While we await the answers, Reverend Jesse Jackson questions the death of McDonald in his weekly commentary in the Chicago Sun- Times.
Rev. Jackson blames Chicago police for not properly doing their job in the investigation of the shooting, observing that while Van Dyke held the gun, there were nine other police officers present who didn’t report what Rev. Jackson calls “police violence.”
Rev. Jackson also touches on the now infamous video footage of the shooting the police department didn’t want to release. According to the commentary, Emanuel fought to conceal the video by settling a $5 million lawsuit awarded to the McDonald family before they filed a lawsuit against the city. The settlement also had a secret clause where the family would agree to keep quiet about the literal “hush money.” Why award the family money if there was nothing to hide and before they took actions to sue the city of Chicago? Rev. Jackson makes a comparison to another victim of police violence, Samuel Dubose, the Cincinnati man shot at point blank range last summer by a campus police officer during a routine traffic stop. His murder was recorded and contradicted the story of the officer, who says he was dragged by Dubose’s car.
As the commentary comes to a close, Rev. Jackson writes that in order for Chicago to heal, they have to tell the truth on the death of McDonald. He speaks on behalf of the protesters and makes three demands that have to take action for a fair trial: first, appoint an independent special prosecutor; second, the federal investigation should look not only into the murder of McDonald, but also the cover up of his murder; third, appoint a new police chief (which has just happened) and new police officers.