What would have happened if video had not captured Laquan McDonald’s murder by police
Repeatedly, police harass and arrest people for unobtrusively filming their public activities, despite the countless times that video reveals police misconduct.
Sometimes the misconduct is revealed by the video cameras of police themselves, including Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke’s shooting of Laquan McDonald with sixteen shots. (This video footage is very graphic.)
How could sixteen shots be a mistake or mere self defense? Even with my criminal defense lawyer perspective, I cannot imagine any justification for the sixteen shots.
Officer Van Dyke is being prosecuted for murder now, only because a journalist was successful in obtaining a court order to release the shooting video over a year after it happened. If his case goes to trial rather than resulting in a guilty plea, is there any way for the jury to acquit him of murder other than through jury nullification, or a compromise verdict for manslaughter?
I repeatedly underline that our criminal justice system is so overgrown that repeatedly severe police misconduct will continue until we shrink the criminal justice system, for instance by legalizing marijuana, prostitution and gambling; decriminalizing all other drugs; eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing; eliminating the death penalty; and eliminating per se guilty rules in DWI cases based on blood alcohol levels.
Seventeen-year-old Laquan McDonald’s hands may not have been clean if he in fact was displaying a knife near the police. However, the incident video does not show officer Van Dyke shooting in mere self defense. Sixteen shots was not needed for mere self defense.
This frequency of police abuse and police misconduct must stop.