Chicago police probe announced; no charges in 2nd shooting

Dec 10, 2015
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The department’s chief of detectives also resigned Monday.

“Every one of those officers were doing the right thing beforehand then lie and lie in official police reports“, Futterman said.

Johnson’s mother, Dorothy Holmes, who earlier said she had seen the video, has said that it proved her son was murdered.

Several black IL lawmakers are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the Chicago Police Department to include the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the civilian agency that investigates officer misconduct.

But such assurances are likely to be met with skepticism in a city that’s been plagued for years by a string of incidents of apparent police abuse followed by promises of reform. The manager told Chicago NBC/5 that officers entered the fast food eatery the night of the shooting and when they left, 86 minutes of video appeared to be missing.

“Based upon an objective review of the evidence and the law, we have determined that the prosecution could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of Officer Hernandez were not reasonable and permissible”, Alvarez said.

Since the video was made public, Emanuel forced Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to resign and formed a task force to examine the police department.

Dashcam footage from the incident shows police shooting McDonald, who was black, 16 times as he walked away from police officers on a Chicago road, including multiple times after he had fallen to the ground. Those differences and the long delay between the October 2014 shooting and the November 2015 charges against Officer Jason Van Dyke – paired with data showing widespread issues with how Chicago handles citizen complaints against police – have raised questions about the mechanisms of accountability.

“This mistrust from members of the community makes it more hard to gain help with investigations, to encourage victims and witnesses of crimes to speak up, and to fulfil the most basic responsibilities of public safety officials”, said Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the top USA justice official.

Emanuel, who initially said a federal civil rights investigation would be “misguided” but later reversed course, said the city needs comprehensive solutions in the wake of the video showing McDonald’s death. He indicated repeatedly on Monday that he now welcomed the federal intervention.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced today that she’s not charging Officer Hernandez over the shooting death.

“The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the highest standards of law enforcement throughout the United States”, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. And in Albuquerque, where the government focused on 23 fatal shootings by police, a report released in 2014 said investigators found a troubling pattern of excessive force.

Johnson was struck by the bullets and fell face down.

The video showed Hernandez firing at Johnson as he runs into a park.

Prosecutors showed reporters an image with a red-colored circle around Johnson’s hand, saying that forensic experts clarified images of a weapon. She also said Johnson was armed and was running toward an occupied police vehicle before he was shot.

“The inept and corrupt handling of both Laquan McDonald’s and Ronald Johnson’s cases, reveal complicity in cover ups that go all the way to the Mayor’s and State’s Attorney’s offices”, the group said in a statement.

Between 50 and 100 protesters from various activist movements – including Black Lives Matter, Action Now and Black Youth Project 100 – rallied on Chicago’s South Side following the announcement. Some chanted for Alvarez and Emanuel to step down.

– In Ferguson, federal authorities determined after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown that the police department had engaged in discriminatory and unconstitutional practices. John Escalante got asked where officers on the scene when Laquan was killed – the ones who gave statements contrary to what everybody saw on the dash cam video – are now assigned, he didn’t get a chance to respond.

The city agreed to pay McDonald’s family $5 million back in April – before a lawsuit had been filed. The city’s early efforts to suppress its release coincided with Emanuel’s re-election campaign, when the mayor was seeking African-American votes in a tight race.

According to officials, Coleman’s death was the result of his reaction to that anti-psychotic drug, which certainly can kill people. “Out of 400 investigations in the last eight years, they’ve found only two police shootings unjustified – the rest were all [deemed] good shootings”.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel listens to a question after announcing the appointment of Sharon Fairley as leader of the Independent Police Review Authority Monday Dec. 7 2015 during a news conference in Chicago

 

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