Of course the video should be released.
Every video of every police shooting should be made public, always, whether in North Charleston, South Carolina, or in Chicago, Illinois. Or why should anybody believe anybody? Why should anybody, to be blunt, assume anything but the worse about the police?
Hide nothing. Deny nothing. And don’t pretend the video cannot be released because of an ongoing investigation. Nonsense.
Two weeks ago, Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell was the first in the media to call for the release of a dash-cam video said to show how 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times, fatally, by a Chicago Police officer. After interviewing an attorney who had seen the video, Mitchell called for its release even before the Chicago City Council approved a $5 million settlement in the case — a settlement in which the city acknowledges no wrongdoing by anybody.
As the lawyer described the video, McDonald, back on Oct. 20, was walking down the middle of Pulaski Road at 40th Street. He was holding a knife in his right hand. But he was not running or lunging, just walking.
Two officers jumped out a police vehicle with guns drawn, separated from McDonald by a lane of traffic. One officer shot McDonald 16 times. Neither officer, inexplicably, was reportedly equipped with a Taser gun.
The FBI is investigating, which is well and good. But Chicagoans deserve to know — really must know — right now what’s on that video.
Chicagoans want to believe in the police. Chicagoans know they do a dangerous job. But in return for that faith and trust, Chicagoans demand full transparency — a complete owning up by the police, for better or worse, at all times.
Release the video.