Mitchell: ‘Hideous’ video tells an even more hideous story
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You can’t look at the video of a Chicago police officer’s shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and hold onto any illusion that black people are exaggerating police brutality.
The video shows that everything that police said after the shooting was a lie.
The video shows that instead of “lunging” at Jason Van Dyke, the officer now charged with first-degree murder in this case, McDonald was walking briskly away from the officer.
After the frame that shows Van Dyke firing his weapon, you don’t see another officer again, until one moves into frame to kick something out of McDonald’s hand.
What you do see before that is the twitching and jerking of McDonald’s body as the bullets strike him.
It doesn’t matter what side of Chicago you hail from, there’s no way to understand why a white Chicago police officer would stand over the sprawled body of this young black male, and empty his weapon.
I shrieked at the ferocity of that first shot.
It spun McDonald around knocked him to the ground.
Still there were shots and more shots, each ripping through the young man’s body and escaping in puffs of smoke.
The puffs of smoke wafting from McDonald’s body broke me down.
And in what could be described as the ultimate display of disrespect for this life, an officer kicks the small knife out of the teen’s still hand.
He doesn’t bend down to take it.
He kicks it.
I just don’t believe Van Dyke would have stood over the sprawled body of a young white male and peppered his body with bullets.
More than that, I don’t believe other officers on the scene could have stood around and watched, what the mayor described as a “hideous” incident without trying to intercede.
There was no struggle between Van Dyke and McDonald that would have justified the force.
There was no apparent threat to residents or motorists in the industrial site that would explain why this young man had to be killed.
And there was nothing on the tape that would shed any light on why agencies charged with holding sworn police officers accountable took a whole year to figure out that McDonald was murdered.
It was right there in black and white.
Though Van Dyke was stripped of his police powers, he has been allowed to go to his job every day as if McDonald’s killing was just an unfortunate incident.
As this young man was laid to rest, the recording was sitting there bearing witnesses to this atrocity.
I don’t believe that the majority of Chicago police officers are so untrained, so scared, so uncaring that they would have to shoot a 17-year-old who is armed with a folding knife.
A lot of young people have been desensitized to violence because they’ve experienced it, witnessed it, suffered it or downloaded it from the Internet. Reality TV shows such as “48 Hours” tell real stories about real perpetrators and victims.
But nothing can prepare you for watching a Chicago police officer take aim at a young black man and pull the trigger 16 times.
Unfortunately, you can troll through YouTube and find other videos of police-involved shootings in other cities that are just as disgusting.
Tragically, some people even call it entertainment.
But now that the video has been made public, the city can get on with the business of addressing police brutality instead of wasting time trying to hide the truth from the world — and from us.