Chicago cops involved in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday.
The Justice Department is set to investigate whether Chicago police violated any laws during the shooting. Lynch said the “pattern-and-practice” probe will look into the use of force, accountability, deadly force, and how the Chicago Police Department “tracks and treats” those kinds of incidents.
Chicago police expected to be investigated over killing of black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014 https://t.co/8RyngZ86xO
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 7, 2015
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said he fully supports the investigation to keep their residents and the whole community safe. “Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our residents and ensuring that the men and women of our Police Department have the tools, resources and training they need to be effective crime fighters, stay safe and build community trust,” said Emmanuel.
The move to do a thorough civil rights investigation came after the video of a white police officer shooting McDonald 16 times was ordered released by a court judge. Officer Van Dyke, the police in the video, has reportedly been charged with first-degree murder.
Video Footage Of The Laquan McDonald Shooting In 2014
The city and the department faced a slew of criticisms after accounts from cops present at the scene seemed to contradict the video footage of the shooting. Van Dyke and his fellow cops said McDonald threatened them, a statement that contradicted the events shown in the video. Several Chicago residents are questioning the authorities for keeping mum on the issue. Emmanuel and interim Police Supt. John Escalante are tight-lipped regarding what happened to the cops involved in the shooting.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, the family of McDonald reportedly received a $5 million settlement in an attempt to conceal the footage from the public. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez also faced public outrage for not pressing charges against the suspect.
The Chicago Police has been involved in 409 shootings since 2007.