U.S. Justice Department Expected To Launch Investigation of Chicago Police After Laquan McDonald's Death
In the wake the release of a video showing Chicago police officers shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald to death, the U.S. Justice Department is set to open an investigation into whether the police force’s practices have violated any civil rights.
According to The Washington Post, the civil probe will be officially announced by officials in the coming week, and will be similar to that at the police departments in Ferguson, Missouri.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at first called the idea of a probe “misguided”—but on Saturday backtracked, saying the city’s police department needs “nothing less than complete and total reform,” according to The Chicago Tribune.
The investigation will come after officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for the 17-year-old’s death—the first time a Chicago officer has received the charges for an on-duty shooting in over three decades. A video released showing dash cam footage of the incident show Officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald some 16 times while he ran from police. Van Dyke was released on a $1.5 million bond last week.
Rose Joshua, president of Chicago South Side NAACP, said that the investigation would be welcome:
“We have systemic problems, and if we can find a solution to systemic issues, it’s going to take the community to do that. At this juncture, I’m saddened and afraid and I’m wondering if we can do that.”