A retired Chicago police officer questioned by an activist at a protest on Monday was filmed defending the murder of of Laquan McDonald, a black teen who was shot 16 times in 2014 by a white police officer who was later convicted of first-degree murder. The controversial video has now gone viral on Twitter.
In the video, Ja’Mal Green, a left-leaning political pundit and community organizer and activist who is black, confronts the retired officer, a white man in plain clothes. The pair were attending dueling protests over the fate of Kim Foxx, the prosecutor in the high-profile Jussie Smollett case, who is being called upon by some to resign for dropping all charges against the actor after initially accusing him of a hate crime hoax. Many members of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) were present, including the unidentified officer.
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“I’m not here to say Jussie Smollett is innocent,” Green says from behind the camera. “You’re only really here …” Green’s voice trails off as the officer begins to aggressively point his finger at the community leader, asking, “Where were you before Laquan McDonald got killed? Nobody gave a s*** about him, and he was running the streets all buckwild.”
Here’s a retired Chicago police officer and member of the FOP telling me Laquan McDonald should have been shot more than 16 times. Excuse my language but I was so disgusted! I can’t believe the racism I saw today.. #ProtectKimFoxx pic.twitter.com/WVHVXuhJPZ
— Ja'Mal Green (@JaymalGreen) April 1, 2019
The slaying of McDonald has been a hot-button issue in the city for almost five years, during which time the case was scrutinized, and the Chicago Police Department was accused of staging a cover-up. Initially, officers claimed the teen had approached them with a pocket knife, but dash cam footage later revealed officers were actually following him as he carried the knife, which he refused to drop. The officers were accused of police brutality for the alleged overkill.
In the video, an incredulous Green responds to the officer by asking, “So he deserved to be shot 16 times?” The man responds, “You know what? They should’ve shot him 18.”
“You are so disgusting,” Green replies. “You are an evil a******. You will rot in hell for that s***. You just said that a 17-year-old boy should be shot 18 times. You disgust me.”
He then encourages the officer to repeat what he said, and asks the question. Nodding his head, the officer responds, “Should’ve probably been shot more. He was a threat to the community.”
Thousands of people have reacted to the video with anger and disbelief. “People don’t want to admit the problem with Chicago crime might be partially the police,” one person replied. “No surprise. Been following the Chicago/Illinois FOP for years. They are openly racist. They lead the charge in character assassination of victims whenever a POC [person of color] is harmed by law enforcement,” another tweeted.
Green went on to indict another protester, Alderman Nicholas Sposato of the Chicago City Council.
Here’s another FOP member who believes cuz Laquan was on foster care or did drugs he deserved to be killed. “Let’s talk about his momma, he was on foster care”.. this is how they think! I’m not scared of none of them, that’s why I pressed their buttons. This wasn’t about Jussie! pic.twitter.com/nRY5RCB5jS
— Ja'Mal Green (@JaymalGreen) April 2, 2019
He also called out “another FOP member” who defended the teen’s murder and “believes cuz Laquan was on foster care or did drugs he deserved to be killed.” The man is seen shouting to the camera that “[McDonald] was a thug and didn’t listen to the police. He was on drugs. Let’s talk about his mother. He was in foster care. He was already in foster care.” As the crowd grows rowdier, and Green tells the man he’s going to hell, the man responds, “[McDonald] had a knife and was on drugs. What else do you want?”
Weighing in on the debate and the viral videos, the National Black Police Association released a statement on Monday that read, in part:
“We are sure that enormous resources were spent in trying to delay crucial evidence in the Laquan McDonald case, and in protecting and representing Officer Jason Van Dyke for the shooting of Mr. McDonald. There was no press conference by Chicago officials decrying those actions. Surely it must cost money to prepare for and execute a flawed search warrant at the wrong residence, terrorizing a 4-year-old and his family during a birthday party? Did the Chicago PD protest their ill-willed, heavy-handed brethren and ask them to resign? … Actions such as those taken by Mayor Emmanuel and the Chicago FOP highlight the ills of of a racially unjust criminal system.”
Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police for comment on the video.
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