Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald hours before Chicago released the footage showing the teen running down the street when he was shot 16 times.
A white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times last year was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, hours before the city released a video of the killing that officials fear could spark unrest.
Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot and killed last year in a Chicago street while carrying a knife.
City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the dash-cam video, fearing the kind of unrest that occurred in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody.
A judge ordered that the recording be put out by Wednesday. Moments before the footage was made public Tuesday evening, the mayor and the police chief appealed for calm.
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“People have a right to be angry. People have a right to protest. People have a right to free speech. But they do not have a right to … criminal acts,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.
The relevant potion of the video runs for less than 40 seconds and has no audio.
McDonald swings into view on a four-lane street where police vehicles are stopped in the middle of the roadway. As he jogs down the street, he appears to pull up his pants and then slows to a brisk walk, veering away from two officers who are emerging from a vehicle and drawing their guns.
Almost immediately, one of the officers appears to fire from close range. McDonald spins around and crumples to the pavement. The second officer simultaneously lowers his weapon.
The car with the camera continues to roll forward until the officers are out of the frame. Then McDonald can be seen lying on the pavement, moving occasionally. At least two small puffs of smoke can be seen coming off his body as the officer continues firing.
In the final moments, an officer can be seen kicking something out of McDonald’s hands.
Authorities have said the teen had a knife, and a 3-inch knife was recovered from the scene.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.