Chicago police reports conflict with video of Laquan McDonald’s shooting – Los Angeles Times

Hundreds of pages of newly released Chicago police reports from the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald are most striking for one simple reason: They are dramatically at odds with the dashboard-camera video that has sparked protests across the city, cost Chicago’s top cop his job and embroiled Mayor Rahm Emanuel in scandal.

The reports, released by the city late Friday, show that Officer Jason Van Dyke and at least five other officers said McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though the video of the October 2014 shooting shows the 17-year-old walking away. The scenario sketched out by Cook County State’s Atty. Anita Alvarez in charging Van Dyke with first-degree murder also contends McDonald was walking away.

At least one patrol officer said that McDonald was advancing on the officers in a menacing way and swung his knife in an “aggressive, exaggerated manner” before he was shot and killed. Officers also said that even after McDonald had been shot by Van Dyke, the teen tried to lift himself off the ground with the knife pointed toward the officers, and though he had been mortally wounded, still presented a threat.

The reports, a collection of handwritten statements from the night of the shooting, and follow-up reports in the days and months after, often refer to Van Dyke as VD and call him the victim. McDonald is called O, for offender. Some reports are in police shorthand.

“VD believed O was attacking w/knife,” said a report of Van Dyke’s account. “Trying to kill VD. In defense of his life, VD backpedaled + fired. O fell to ground, continued to move/grasp knife. VD continued firing. O appeared to be attempting to get up, still holding knife. Pointing at VD.”


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