Ken Berwitz

Lawyers for McDonald\’s family, who won a $5 millionsettlement from the city even before filing a lawsuit, have said none of theother officers at the scene fired a shot, according to city officials.

What you just read is the 58th paragraph of a 60 paragraph article in the Chicago Tribune about Laquan McDonald, the 17 year old Black male who was shot and killed last year by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

McDonald (according to the autopsy) was high on PCP.  He had just damaged a number of cars, slashed a police car\’s tire, and was running (not walking) down the middle of the street wielding a knife.  

Officer Van Dyke shot and wounded him.  While McDonald was on the ground, writhng, and apparently immobilized, Van Dyke then shot him over a dozen more times, killing him — and was stopped from reloading, possibly so he could shoot him some more.

That the release of a dashboard cam video of this shooting/killing was long overdue, is an understatement.  The incident took place a year ago (while Mayor Rahm Emanuel was locked in a re-election battle, let\’s not forget).  

And, given the circumstances caught on that video, Van Dyke should have been charged with murder at that time (this is not to say he is guilty – though the evidence is obviously very strong against him – but to say that his day in court is way overdue).

Now, explain to me why the family of this drug-addled, lawbreaking miscreant was handed $5 million dollars by the city of Chicago.

There has not even been a trial yet. What if information comes to light that exonerates Officer Van Dyke (who claims McDonald, in addition to the knife we see in the video, was reaching in his waistband – maybe for a gun)?  Why would the family of get a penny then?

It\’s not like Laquan McDonald was a model citizen.  According to an article in the Tribune three days ago – a very sympathetic one – McDonald, who had a horrible upbringing, “racked up numerous juvenile arrests and spent time in juvenile lockup”.  So let\’s not discount the possibility that there\’s more to the story.

This reeks to high heaven.  The stench is one of Chicago politics:  withhold the tapes and pay Laquan McDonald\’s family a fortune, to keep their mouths shut until after the election.

Do I know this happened?  No I do not.  But it certainly looks/smells that way.

And where does the Chicago Tribune tell us about the $5 million dollar payoff?

At the very bottom of a long article where most people won\’t even read it, that\’s where.

Shame on the Chicago Tribune…..and far more shame on Rahm Emanuel if he is involved in this pre-emptive enriching of Laquan McDonald\’s family.

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