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Is the city trying to hide another damning video of a Chicago police officer shooting an unarmed black man?

The mother of Ronald Johnson thinks so. The 25-year-old black man was fatally shot by a Chicago cop a week before Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by another officer.

“They are covering up. They have dashcam footage showing how my son was killed,” Dorothy Holmes told me.

The mother said she saw the graphic video and her son was not holding a weapon.

“You see him running with his back turned toward an officer. Then you see another officer get out of his car and just start shooting him. They saw he had nothing in his hand. He was just running. How could you be fearing for your life if the person is running away?” she asked.

A spokesman for the city of Chicago did not respond to questions about the dashcam video.


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Holmes filed a federal lawsuit last year and says the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency that is supposed to investigate police-involved shootings, has failed to act.

Her attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, has scheduled a news conference for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in his downtown office to brief media on this case.

According to the attorney, the police officer fired five or six times, striking Johnson twice.

“Police said they found a gun in his right hand after he fell. We believe the police planted the gun. When you are running that fast and get shot, nothing is staying in your hand,” the lawyer said.

The Cook County medical examiner determined Johnson died of multiple gunshot wounds.

After the shooting, Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, gave media an account of what happened just as he did after McDonald was killed.

According to Camden, Johnson pointed a gun in the direction of the officers responding to a call of shots fired.

According to Holmes, the video will prove that account to be false.

The city has gotten a “protective order” from a federal judge precluding Holmes’ attorney from releasing the video.

“We filed a Freedom of Information Act request and it was denied. We then filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit,” Oppenheimer said.

A federal judge is expected to rule on the release of this dashcam video on Dec. 10.

Meanwhile, Holmes’ has set up a Facebook page — “Justice 4 RonnieMan” — to rally supporters to this cause.

“I’ve met with people from IPRA, and they said they were going to look into the case. I haven’t heard nothing from nobody,” Holmes said.

“I keep hearing my son’s case is still an ongoing investigation, but how could that be true if you haven’t even talked to the officer and won’t release a dashcam video?”

“The city has sat on this thing for a year,” the lawyer said, “and they are fighting to keep it quiet. I don’t know how many videos are out there, but the city has gone out of its way to hide this again.”

It was a waste of effort for the city to thwart the release of the McDonald dashcam video. It would be plain foolish to use the same tactic in this case.

All Chicagoans should see what is happening with policing in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods. It is the surest way to real reform.

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