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Protests after Chicago dashcam video

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This post was originally published on this siteLaquan McDonald death: Five arrested in protests

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Police in Chicago say they arrested five people on Tuesday who were protesting over a video showing a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times in Chicago last year.

The video, released on Tuesday, showed the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17, by a white police officer. Police say he refused to drop a knife.

Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appealed for calm in the city.

Mr Van Dyke has said through his lawyer and police union he had feared for his life.

The shooting and subsequent protests have become the latest flashpoint in a national debate over violence against black men by police.

Media captionDashcam footage shows the moment 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was fatally shot by police in Chicago

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of the mid-western city late on Tuesday, in what police said were largely peaceful demonstrations.

The five demonstrators that were arrested were charged with offences ranging from assaulting a police officer to weapons possession.

“It is fine to be passionate but it essential to remain peaceful,” Mayor Emanuel told a news conference before the protests.

Police are bracing for more protests in the coming days.

Analysis: Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC North America correspondent

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Jason Van Dyke, the officer who shot the black teenager, turned himself in

About a year since violent protests took place in Ferguson, Missouri, America is once again discussing the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a black teenager by police.

It has taken campaigners in Chicago a year to get police dashcam footage of the death of Laquan McDonald released.

In Ferguson there were no videos to show what happened – prompting nationwide calls for body cameras – and the debate still rages on today about whether or not the grand jury made the right decision not to press charges against police officer Darren Wilson.

In this case, the officer involved, Jason Van Dyke, has now been charged with first-degree murder.

Although many complain this has all been a long time coming, officials hope these actions will defuse any tensions in Chicago, one of America’s largest and most diverse cities.

Step-by-step guide to what happened

A post-mortem examination showed McDonald had been shot at least twice in the back, and had hallucinogenic drugs in his system.

State prosecutor Anita Alvarez said Mr Van Dyke had not been justified in shooting the teenager.

She said McDonald had been carrying a knife when he was stopped by police in 2014 but had not been threatening them or moving towards them.

Mr Van Dyke opened fire seconds after he arrived and continued shooting at the teenager as he lay on the ground, the lawyer added.

Image caption

Laquan McDonald in an undated photo

“While we expect officers to do their jobs… there are a few bad apples who go too far and break the law,” she said.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has said the video is “very troubling” and he expects a strong public reaction, though he hopes it will be “thoughtful and peaceful”.

The police union in Chicago had opposed the release of the video and said it would taint a trial jury.

Chicago police say McDonald threatened officers with a knife and slashed the tyres and windows of a patrol car.

The post Protests after Chicago dashcam video appeared first on Middle East Post.


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