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Emails Reveal Scramble by Chicago Officials Over Laquan McDonald Video

2 minute read

Recently released emails are providing insight into how Chicago officials handled the police dash cam video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald, the black 17-year-old who was shot 16 times in October 2014 by Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer.

On New Year’s Eve the city of Chicago released more than 3,000 e-mails related to McDonald’s death, many of which show a concerted effort by city attorneys to keep the video from public view.

The cache of emails includes an exchange between a city of Chicago attorney and an attorney for McDonald’s family, in which the family’s lawyer criticized as “entirely unreasonable” a proposal in a settlement offer by the city that the video remain hidden for years, according to the Daily Beast, which reviewed the released e-mails. The city would go on to pay the McDonald family $5 million to keep the video confidential.

These messages occurred in April as Rahm Emanuel was in a heated election run-off to remain as mayor. Protesters have called for Emanuel to step down, saying he suppressed the recording and tried to keep it from being released to stay in office.

Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in McDonald’s death and has pleaded not guilty.

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