Monday, November 23, 2015

US DOJ should investigate the cover-up of the murder of Laquan McDonald

Now that City of Chicago has been forced to release the video of Laquan McDonald's killing, the Cook County States Attorney has decided to charge the police officer who killed McDonald (Jason Van Dyke) with murder.

  • McDonald was killed on October 20, 2014
  • Judge Franklin Valderrama orders video released November 19, 2015
  • Van Dyke charged with murder November 23, 2015 

This timeline plus two other facts show intent to protect Van Dykeand deny McDonald justice.

The audio has been removed from the video.

Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago and Cook County States Attorney all either explicitly lied about the circumstances of McDonald's death or allowed the lies provided by others to stand as the official version of what happened.

Prosecutors have wide discretion how to charge crimes. But at some point, decisions stop being discretion and become a conscious decision to cover-up a crime.

If Anita Alvarez saw the video and declared the events didn't justify charges, that's prosecutorial discretion.

But once evidence is being tampered with and false statements are being made to the public, it's no longer discretion about how to charge the crimes but an active conspiracy to deny Laquan McDonald justice.

Were McDonald's civil rights violated? My understanding is that this is such a high bar to prove, US Department of Justice rarely (like almost never) charges police officers(1).

Did public officials who work for Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago or Cook County States Attorney fail to fulfill their obligations to provide "honest services" in the case of Laquan McDonald's killing?

The FBI should bring all the parties who had access to the video to be interviewed.

If everything is on the level, it won't be hard to give satisfactory answers.

But I expect it won't be long before the FBI starts getting these answers:
  • "I don't remember."
  • "I wasn't part of those conversations."
  • "I want an attorney."
  • "I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights."

But maybe I'm being cynical. Maybe there's a reason Van Dyke was getting paid by Chicago Police Department for over a year and days after the video was ordered released Anita Alvarez decided to file murder charges.

I'm just a guy with a blog. I'm sure the FBI will understand the logic much better.

(1) It should be noted while the Obama administration has frequently used the "high bar" excuse for not charging killer cops, to the best of my knowledge the Obama Justice Department has never suggested how the law should be changed to give US DOJ more discretion to charge police violence as federal crimes.

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