Should we trust police officers? Are police officers allowed to lie to you? Yes the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to the American people. Police officers are trained at lying, twisting words and being manipulative. Police officers and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. So don’t try to “out smart” a police officer and don’t try being a “smooth talker” because you will lose! If you can keep your mouth shut, you just might come out ahead more than you expected.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chicago Police to release video of officer shooting teen


CHICAGO—A judge on Thursday ordered the Chicago Police Department to release a video taken from a squad car dashcam that is said to show a police officer shooting a Chicago teen 16 times.

Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama ruled that the police department must release the video by Wednesday. It documents the Oct. 20, 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who police said was holding a small knife when he was fatally shot by a police officer.

For months, city officials had declined to release the video, citing an ongoing federal grand jury probe of the incident. Police say that McDonald, who had PCP in his system at the time of his death and refused to drop the knife, had been acting erratically before the police officer opened fire.

Police had started their pursuit of McDonald after receiving a 911 call from someone who said that a knife-wielding man had threatened him and appeared to be trying to break into cars.

A union official suggested to reporters soon after the incident that the officer was acting in self-defense. McDonald's family attorneys and some witness, however, said that the teen was walking away from the police officer when he was shot. Five other police officers at the scene did not fire their weapons.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would not file an appeal of Valderrama's ruling and would release the video by Wednesday. He said that he hoped prosecutors would wrap up their investigation by then, noting "it appears an officer violated" the public trust.

"The city’s Independent Police Review Authority promptly sent this case and the evidence to state and federal prosecutors who have been investigating it for almost a year," Emanuel said in a statement. "In accordance with the judge’s ruling the city will release the video by November 25, which we hope will provide prosecutors time to expeditiously bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal."

The incident happened about two months after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., by a white police officer ignited nationwide protests.

McDonald's family has said through their attorneys that they worry that release of the potentially inflammatory video could unleash unrest in Chicago. McDonald is black and the police officer who shot him is white.

"What's important is that the community be told the truth about what happened, about how he was shot," said Michael Robbins, an attorney for the McDonald family. "There was a narrative put out there by the Chicago police, by the union initially, that a police officer had to shoot him in self defense...that he lunged at a police officer with a knife. It's not true. He was shot while he was walking away."

Chicago's city council voted in April to pay McDonald's family $5 million. As part of the settlement, a judge barred attorneys from releasing the video footage.

Thursday's decision was triggered by a lawsuit brought by Brandon Smith, an independent journalist, who had a Freedom of Information Act request for the video denied in May.

No charges have been filed against the police officer.

Earlier this month, the office of the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan delivered an opinion that the Chicago Police Department violated the state Freedom of Information law, when it denied a separate open records request made by a Wall Street Journal reporter for the dashcam video.

"We expected this ruling, we're glad for this ruling," said Matt Topic, an attorney for the journalist Smith, after the judge issued his ruling. "The Illinois Attorney General has ruled on this, the court has now ruled on this. It's time for the city to release this video and not continue this fight."



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