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Chicago Braces for Release of Police Shooting Video: If the Shooting Was 'Legal' — Why Pay the Family $5 Million?

Laquan McDonald was hit with a barrage of 16 police bullets. Many entered his back.
Laquan McDonald was hit with a barrage of 16 police bullets. Many entered his back.

By Aamer Madhani,
The city of Chicago is bracing for the release this week of a potentially-explosive police squad car dashcam video of a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.
RELATED STORY: Teen Killed By Cops With 16 Bullets — Family Gets $5 Million: But Cops Still Refuse To Release Dash Cam Video
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday spoke with activists in a conference call and also held meetings with pastors and activists to discuss the forthcoming release of footage that shows 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being gunned down by Officer Jason Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.

They mayor's office said that Emanuel discussed the way forward for Chicago in the aftermath of the release of the video, which a Cook County Circuit judge last week ordered the city to release by Wednesday.

Reporters weren't allowed to listen to the call or attend the meeting with pastors. One activist who took part in the call, Andy Thayer, said Emanuel only spoke for a few minutes. He said Emanuel told activists that police "have a responsibility to uphold the law" and "must never abuse it." Thayer said Emanuel did not take questions, though participants were told ahead of the call that he would.

Emanuel also addressed the possibility of protests after the video's release and said Chicagoans must "use their First Amendment right, but to do it in a focused way," reports the Chicago Tribune, which said it gained access to the conference call through a participant.

In comments to reporters on Monday, Emanuel sought to tamp down speculation that protests could become violent.

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