16 Shots (2019) Movie Script

Eerie minimal drone
[woman over radio]
Anyone riding with Robert?
[man over radio] Yeah, uh...
Got him walking away from me.
He's got a knife in his hand.
[Pat] I had never met
a police officer that
woke up in the morning
with the intentions of
"I'm gonna go out and have
to shoot somebody today."
[woman over radio] Male
caught breaking into
a church and stealing radios.
Armed with knife.
[Pat] Chicago Police
Department averages
maybe 30 police shootings
a year.
[woman over radio]
Do you know the vehicle?
[Pat] Zero dark thirty some
- The wee hours of the morning.
- Anybody close yet?
[Pat] You get the call,
get up and get dressed,
drive from here to
48th and Pulaski.
[man over radio] Let's shut
down all of Pulaski.
Let's shut down all traffic.
[Pat] I'm a God-fearing
person. I would say... prayer
for the offender,
but I'd also pray
for the officer.
- Five.
- Fired by police!
[indistinct shouting]
[crowd chanting] 16 shots! 16
shots! 16 shots! 16 shots!
16 shots!
[police radio chirps]
[radio chatter] 10-33. In the
area. Be right over there.
Sure, Pat Camden, sp... [clears
throat] spokesperson,
Fraternal Order of Police,
Chicago, Lodge Seven.
Uh, there was a call of
a individual
trying to break into
some vehicles.
Officers responded and there
was an individual with a knife
I don't know what his
mental state was,
but he wasn't dropping
the knife and he was
coming at the officer.
And the officers are responding
to somebody with a knife
in a... a crazed condition,
you obviously aren't going
to sit down and have
a cup of coffee with him.
He is a very serious threat
to the officers and
he leaves them
no choice at that point but to
defend themselves. [Inhales]
No, no. Just the...
Just the offender.
[man] Thank you for your
time. Appreciate it.
You're welcome, buddy.
[Pat] I always wanted
to be the police.
As a young kid, I wanted to be
part of that thin blue line
that separates normal life
from chaos.
I still feel I'm part of the
Chicago Police Department.
Even though I'm retired,
that loyalty that I have for
the police department I-is...
is... is very, very strong.
I'll take it to my
grave with me.
I was the spokesperson for the
Fraternal Order of Police,
for FOP.
I've covered well over
500 police-involved shootings.
[man] Pat, I understand we had a
police shooting here tonight.
Can you tell me what happened?
Officers responded to a call
of a suspicious person.
The individual raised his gun,
putting the officer
into fear of his life.
The offender raised a gun,
putting both officers
in fear of their life.
In defense of his
partner's life and his life,
the police had to shoot
the offenders.
I'm not even gonna
get into that.
[man] You don't have any
comment on that at all?
[Pat] A police department
has to be first
in the media.
It is incumbent that they are
the ones that are putting out
the information.
Breaking news from
Chicago's Southwest side.
A 17-year-old boy is shot
and killed by police.
Chicago police say
they had no choice
but to shoot a 17-year-old boy
who threatened them
with a knife.
[woman] The teen suffered a
gunshot wound to the chest.
He was taken to Mount Sinai
Hospital in critical condition
and that is where he died.
Fraternal Order of Police
spokesman Pat Camden says he
lunged at one of them with the
knife, and as soon as that
happened, they shot him.
Police say this was a
clear-cut case
of self-defense.
[Will] I think it's a level
of people being desensitized
from the violence.
That's what we've been seeing
for so many years.
Like, why protest?
Nothing's gonna change.
Why go after this?
Nothing's gonna change.
The morning after, from my
understanding, it was just
a black man that lunged
at the Chicago police
and was shot and killed.
I didn't even know
his name was Laquan.
Laquan was...
a young black child from
the West side of Chicago...
who ended up being murdered
on the South side of Chicago.
I come from the same
background Laquan came from.
I was a ward of the state,
I was birthed by a
15-year-old mother,
I was in and out the
ID home as a juvenile.
He had a troubled life.
Never in a million years
I would've thought
it would've had this
type of effect
on the city or on the country.
Eerie drone music
[Marvin] I'm sitting
in my office...
and my niece...
knocks on this church door.
And she's crying.
She says to me,
"They killed my baby
and it ain't right."
My heart, you know,
drops, of course,
'cause, you know, I know
who this kid is.
His name was Laquan McDonald.
Laquan was my great nephew.
He was a happy-go-lucky kid.
Kind of kid that wanted
to make everybody laugh.
A jokester.
I didn't spend a lot
of time with him,
but my heart is broke because
this mother's heart is broke,
and I just knew that there
was something wrong.
But at this point, in my mind,
I'm thinking there ain't
nothing that we can do.
Finally, the coroner released
the body to the funeral home.
After that, I get a phone
call on my cell.
What Mr. Camden had
said on television,
that ain't what happened.
This boy been shot
and it's a lot of bullet
holes in him.
I tell the funeral home,
"When you get the body,
take pictures."
So they took the
pictures of the body.
The body tells a totally
different story
than what the local news
had put out there:
That he's shot one
time in the chest.
The family wanted privacy
from the media
and justice for Laquan.
Intensifying drone beat
[phone rings]
The initial meeting
was more about.
"Well, what... what happened
here? Is there a case?"
'Cause you never really know.
Someone from the funeral home,
at their request, took a
bunch of photographs,
and they really
weren't too clear.
But they knew he was
shot multiple times.
We agreed to take it
to look into it
to see what really happened.
We sent out probate subpoenas
and then we received
police reports.
So we have five units
on the scene,
and there was only one officer
that discharged his weapon.
Nobody else fired a shot.
And we also saw that there
were three eye witnesses
that were taken from the
Burger King drive-thru
to the police station.
And according to the
police reports,
they're questioned for hours.
If this was a regular
murder case,
you would have eye
witness statements
that were either videotaped
or written-out by a prosecutor.
And instead, you had these
little summaries that said,
"Oh, I saw nothing."
We thought, "This is very odd."
Initially, we thought the
shooting happened
in the drive-thru of
the Burger King.
So we sent this wave of
probate subpoenas
to the Burger King.
And the Burger King people
were very receptive.
They said, "Come on down,
we'll show you what we have."
But what was really odd
and what the Burger King
people were upset about
was the way the police
came to their restaurant
and just demanded access
to their video equipment.
They didn't have a subpoena,
they didn't have a warrant.
And all I know for sure is
that now there's 86 minutes
that are missing.
And so that gets your radar up.
But when you look at
the police reports
that were signed-off on,
again, by lieutenants
and sergeants and detectives,
it's a justified shooting.
It's justified.
[train clattering]
[Jamie] I remember reading
a story of a young man
shot and killed on the
Southwest side of Chicago.
I, as a Chicagoan,
somebody who...
writes about these issues,
is immersed in them,
I did what everybody does:
I turned the page.
About a week after the incident,
a close colleague of
mine received a call
from somebody close to the
investigation who said,
"There is video,
police dash cam video,"
that completely contradicts
the official story
of what happened.
"It's horrific."
The implication of the call was.
"This is gonna be
deep-sixed, the video.
Made disappear."
So I began to investigate.
But these investigations
are long-shots.
They're huge long-shots,
and you can just never get
to the point where
you have sufficient evidence to
bring the story to the public.
Dramatic synth build up
[Garry] There's probably never
been a more important time
in policing than right now.
Some people would say
that, you know,
now is not the time
to be a police officer.
I say exactly the opposite.
It's probably the most
fulfilling thing
that you can do with your life.
I've been a police
officer for 35 years.
And my dad was a police
officer, so I have a...
A little context going back
to 1947 in New York City.
Things have changed
Police departments are not
what they were years ago.
Police officers are not what
they were years ago.
I guess it was the day after
the shooting occurred.
I had an in-depth, uh,
briefing on the case.
I saw the video.
I didn't say it was murder.
Because I don't know what
officer Van Dyke saw,
I don't know what
was in his mind.
Those were questions that I
couldn't answer at the time.
I took on Jason Van
Dyke's case, um,
really from the early stages.
It was just an
administrative case.
After the shooting, the
video and the reports
were reviewed by the top
command staff members
and everybody, to a
man, concluded that
this is a, um,
a proper shooting.
It was essentially approved.
[Jamie] Once we knew officer
Jason Van Dyke's name,
we were able to piece
together his record.
By the time Van Dyke
shot Laquan McDonald,
he had already been the target
of more than 20 allegations
of misconduct.
But in the course
of his 13-year career,
he had never once
been disciplined.
There was little reason to
believe the McDonald case
would end any differently.
The police said the
shooting was justified,
and McDonald's family wasn't
speaking to the press.
I was all-in on the story,
but at that point, I had one
source with information
about the dash cam video,
unwilling to be publicly named
because of concerns about
So I asked a source if
she could find out about
the content of the autopsy.
Repetitive drums thumping
[rain falling]
And I went out for a run
quite late in the evening
and she pulled up
in her vehicle.
She was visibly shaken.
And almost immediately,
she said,
"16 shots.
Front and back."
eerie drone music
[Dr. Cina] A total of 16
bullets struck the body.
Two in the back, one in
the left upper back here,
and one in the right lower back.
Each wound gets a
detailed paragraph.
[Dr. Cina] Two wounds on
the anterior right leg.
There's a graze on the head,
a gunshot wound through the left
side of the front of the neck,
which would be a serious
wound in that it
went through the trachea.
And then all the rest of the
wounds are through the arms.
[Jamie] Autopsies are
extraordinary documents.
They're the victim testifying.
The closest we have to Laquan
McDonald giving an account
of what happened to him
is the autopsy.
[Dr. Cina] Seven bullets were
recovered from the body,
which means, uh, nine would've
passed through the body,
including the graze.
Small probable projectile
recovered from the mouth,
that could be from a
bullet which might have
impacted on the ground
near the body
and could've caused some
shrapnel, which could've
gotten up into the mouth.
Given the other things we knew,
what the autopsy suggested
was the boy on the ground,
rolling around in pain,
and bullets entering at
different points
from the same... from
the same shooter.
The autopsy utterly impeached
the official narrative
that the city had
been promoting.
Young man with a
knife, aggressive,
lunges a police officer,
policer officer shoots
in self-defense.
It simply couldn't be true.
But the autopsy didn't provide
a counter-narrative.
For that, it was
critical to talk to
civilian witnesses to
the shooting.
[crickets chirping]
After a series of dead ends
and wrong addresses,
I showed up at the doorstep
of Jose Torres
and his son, Xavier.
[Jose] When Jamie came to my
door, I freaked out.
I'm looking behind him, looking
around, to see if...
I'm thinking it's the police
is here to get me.
I don't wanna talk bad about
all police officers,
'cause they're not all bad.
I have a lot of friends
that are police officers.
But, um...
you know, after seeing this,
I lost pretty much the
trust in...
In the police.
We were traveling
North-bound on Pulaski.
I was actually the first car
that pulled up at the scene.
I had just barely come
off from from work.
I was headed to Burger King.
I see a guy running
next... on my window.
He was getting chased
by the cops.
They were chasing him.
We had the street light, so
we were able to, you know,
get a good view of
what was going on.
There were a lot
of police officers.
And it just seemed like
he was just trying to
get away from...
From what was going on.
Those first shots came
in and he dropped.
Shots and saw him drop.
He literally dropped.
And there was a small pause.
I see Laquan McDonald move.
I... It didn't seem like
he was getting up.
It just seemed like
he was in pain.
But that's when other
shots start coming in.
He was on the ground, and still,
more shots came at him.
When the gunshots were going in,
his just body kept jumping.
It... You could tell it was...
He didn't have no life
in there no more.
And the next thing I remember
is, um, yelling, "Stop shooting!"
He's dead already!"
I was kind of upset and I said,
"Why the fuck are they
still shooting him?
He's on the ground."
From what we see, he wasn't
posing any type of threat.
The detectives call me over
and they took us to
the precinct.
They separated us in
three different rooms.
They brought me into a small
office and they started
questioning me and asking
me what happened.
[Alma] I talked to several
detectives, not one.
And they kept asking me
the qu... same questions
over and over again.
"What did you see? How many
gunshots did you hear?"
And the more I kept
telling them of what I saw,
they were trying to make me...
They would... They would
tell me stuff like,
"Well, we're watching the video
and your story does not match."
And, uh...
and I said, "Well, if
it doesn't match, then..."
And you have a video,
what am I doing here?"
And they said, "Well, you
know, it's not good to lie."
They really wanted me
to change the story
about how many shots
I had heard.
If I didn't tell them what
they wanted to hear,
I definitely thought I
was gonna go to jail.
H... He kept pushing me to say
that he was trying to get up.
I'm like, "No." I'm like,
"I'm not...
Why would I change my story?"
[Alma] Later, a detective
comes in the room
where we were all together.
One of the other guys tells him,
"We already told you,
"we saw a cop execute
a guy." [laughs]
And the detective just
blew up like,
"What? It's just another
scumbag out of the street."
We did you a favor.
"We did Chicago a favor."
In that moment, I was like, "No."
If I'm not being arrested, um,
I'm not gonna say another word
"until I have a lawyer."
Five minutes later, they told
us we were free to go.
Four in the morning.
[Jose] The following day,
I get up in the morning
before I head to work,
and I turn on the news
because I want to see
if there was anything
about the shooting.
I see this spokesperson,
Pat Camden.
I'm like, "No, this is wrong."
I'm like, "What they're
saying is false."
He did not lunge at him.
"Um, he was turning away
from him at the time."
It was eating away at me.
What they were saying was a lie.
I wanted to talk to somebody,
but a few guys lived in
the neighborhood
and I was worried about
retaliation from the police.
As time went by, I...
I j... I couldn't sleep.
I'm like, "What if that was
one of my boys that..."
That the police
gunned-down like that?"
And I... I said,
"I have to come forward."
[Jamie] Once I had a
credible civilian witness,
a precise description
of a dash cam video,
and the autopsy,
I was ready to publish.
Once the piece appears in Slate,
pretty much the whole story
was in plain sight.
At four AM, the general counsel
from the police department
sent a link to the piece to
the chief lawyer for the city.
By the next morning,
the entire text was in
the email boxes
of the mayor's senior staff.
[woman] How did they respond?
They don't respond.
Jamie began clanging the
bell on Laquan McDonald.
Not as a defense, but
these stories
are hard to investigate.
Autopsy reports can be subject
to some interpretation.
Eye witness statements
can be subject
to questioning in
terms of accuracy
or where they were from
their vantage point.
And there are other stories
that people were working on.
Police do get the
benefit of the doubt.
And, in most cases...
properly so. They put their
lives on the line.
We count on them to do
what we don't do.
And it kind of went
by the wayside.
[Jamie] I wouldn't
say the story died,
but it was like a tree
falling in the forest.
You know, who heard it?
At every point in this process,
everything works in support
of the official narrative.
The machinery is actually
continuing to function
until dramatically,
almost cataclysmically,
and mysteriously,
it doesn't.
[phone ringing]
Good afternoon,
Jeff Neslund's office.
We had heard about it,
Jamie Kalven had written
articles about it,
so we sent probate subpoenas
to the department,
saying "We want the
dash cam videos."
And time had gone by and we
hadn't received anything yet.
And so we called and
the sergeant said,
"You gotta go through
Internal Affairs."
So we called Internal Affairs
and Internal Affairs
person said,
"We don't deal with subpoenas."
And so we called the
subpoena sergeant back
and said, "They don't
deal with it?"
Okay, you know? Here it comes."
You know, I think this kind
of went under the radar.
If somebody higher-up
would've seen this,
they would've sent lawyers
to probate court trying
to quash the subpoena.
So whether that
person actually knew
what he was sending?
I don't know.
We popped it in in my computer
and we were shocked.
[woman] ...a male we caught
breaking into church
and stealing radios.
And what we saw was,
in our opinion, uh,
a first-degree murder
dramatic music
This video was accessible
and reviewed
by the police the night
of the shooting,
so how do you justify this?
You come up with a
bunch of excuses,
a bunch of lies about
a young man,
waving the knife aggressively,
threatening us.
We know from emails
that have been released
that they were on the lookout
for somebody calling about
the Laquan McDonald case.
And when we finally did
reach out to the city,
they knew exactly what
case we were talking about.
We told them, "We've
got the video."
And there was just stunned
silence on the other
end of the phone that said
"How'd you get the video?"
bagpipes playing
At that point, the machinery
was, in some sense, working.
But the pressure is building.
It starts with the autopsy
impeaching the police narrative.
It includes the civilian
And finally, somewhat
the video is sent to the
lawyers for the family.
At the same time, the national
context keeps intensifying.
The shooting of Michael
Brown in Ferguson,
Eric Garner in New York,
Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
[man] Protests growing
from Oakland, California,
Philadelphia, Atlanta,
and Washington D.C.
[Jamie] And, in response to
the popular protests,
we have an increasingly active
Justice Department
[man] The Justice Department
has opened investigations
or is enforcing
court-ordered changes
in 32 police departments
and sheriff's offices
in 18 states.
[Jeff] The hope was that
the public outcry about
the Laquan McDonald case
would finally bring
the Department of Justice to
intervene in Chicago.
I came to the Department
of Justice
in the kind of Golden Era, um,
and I worked with a really
amazing group of people
I investigated departments
ranging from New Orleans
to Ferguson to
Newark, New Jersey.
In Chicago, we opened
the formal investigation
after Laquan McDonald
was killed.
Chicago was the largest team
we've ever had,
and we reviewed over 400
Use of Force investigations,
and that included 170
of officer-involved shootings.
There's never been the
kind of wholesale change
and reform needed
from within Chicago,
where you really have
such strong local politics
and such a strong
police department.
What we are looking at when we
do one of these investigations?
"Is this behavior aberrational?
Or is it part of a normal
pattern or practice?"
In Chicago, the police officers
still control the
scene of a shooting
and still conduct the
initial questioning.
Officers were not separated
before they gave statements.
Um, officers were allowed to
speak to their union reps.
They don't prohibit
officers, in any way,
from cooking their stories.
The FOP responded to
the Laquan McDonald
shooting as they respond
to all police-involved
So what we try to do
is give the officers
the benefit of the doubt
and allow them
to de-escalate, more or less.
And... And to get
some time away,
collect your thoughts,
meet with counsel,
and then go forward and
make their statement.
Morning after,
I get a phone call.
I ask them, "How is everything?"
Is everybody okay?"
"Everybody's okay."
"Is it a good shoot?"
"It's a good shoot."
We're done.
[Christy] They ask officers
to risk their careers
when they get them all
in a room together and say,
"Hey, let's all make sure we
have our stories straight."
[Dean] We've got a pretty
good batting average.
We would be the highest-paid
player in that league,
if it was salary, it was
based on, uh, on wins.
[Cristy] There were a lot
of issues we found
with officer statements in
the Laquan McDonald case.
There's a saying in police work.
There's a saying in
crisis management
that the first three
reports from the scene
are generally wrong.
Did you know that?
It is absolutely the
case that there may be
different interpretations
or different...
parts of a scenario were
remembered differently
by different people.
The problem is that not only
are all of these narratives
remarkably similar to each
other but they're all
inconsistent with the evidence
in the exact same ways.
You could weave whatever
thread you want through this.
You could say that Lee Harvey
Oswald was involved.
But he wasn't here.
The Laquan McDonald case
was not a cover-up.
[Jamie] The officers say that
they saw the victim lunge.
Other officers say that Laquan
McDonald was behaving
in a threatening manner.
They lied. They lied
from day one.
They lied about something of
fundamental human importance.
[bell ringing]
[Dan] There are certain things
that were put in the reports
that may not appear in
all the evidence.
I would certainly
acknowledge that.
There's always an effort to,
you know, make the case
as good as it can be
going forward to trial.
And I know that the
reports were drafted
and reviewed by the
command staff.
It was really the pattern
and practice of...
Of the police department.
Eerie music
The investigation
involved, arguably,
the destruction of
evidence as in the...
The case of the Burger King,
the falsification of reports
by multiple officers,
the intimidation of witnesses,
and the falsification
of their stories.
And then, the findings go to
the State's Attorney's office.
Being, uh, Cook County
State's Attorney,
this is the second-largest
office in the nation,
so it's... it's quite
a... a big job.
The number one goal for
a State's Attorney,
as a prosecutor, either here or
anywhere in the country,
is public safety.
It's not easy.
Right now, police
are under attack
and I think right now,
probably the most difficult
job you can have
is to be a police officer.
And so, police officer shootings
have to be handled differently,
because they're police officers
and it's not the same
as one gangbanger
shooting another.
It'll never be.
Here's the other reality:
It's extremely hard to
convict police officers.
And if you look at the
results across the nation,
it... it's rare that
we're successful.
[woman] When did you
see the video?
L... Two weeks after the...
It happened,
back in November of 2014.
[woman] And when did
the mayor see it?
[Anita] I would guess he
saw it before I did.
[buzzing and indistinct chatter]
[Will] Are you a registered
voter in this neighborhood?
All right, have a blessed day.
What about you, brother?
- Not this neighborhood, sir.
- Oh, okay.
[bell ringing]
With Laquan, it just seemed like
here's another black youth shot
by Chicago Police
Department. No justice.
Yeah, you can sign right here.
Thank you so much.
But when Jamie Kelven came
out with his investigation,
I found out that the
video existed.
For so long, across the nation,
we never had video evidence,
you know what I mean?
Like, with Trayvon Martin,
with Mike Brown,
we never had real
video evidence.
But now, here we are.
Video evidence.
And so I just got to
researching about
how to get information released
from the police department.
I had a... a friend, he
told me about FOIA.
And I didn't know at the time,
I wasn't educated on
what FOIA was,
the Freedom of Information Act.
We FOIA'd for the tape, right?
Of course, the Chicago Police
Department denied us,
and we filed a lawsuit,
and we hired a attorney.
Part of the police
department's and city's
strategy and success in
maintaining a system
of impunity involves
official secrecy.
The standard operating procedure
of keeping things secret was.
"It's under investigation."
The three words "It's
under investigation"
just end all inquiry.
It's like...
It was like running
into a brick wall.
I don't... I don't really
have an opposition
to the video being released.
My concern is I don't want
the case to somehow
be jeopardized.
I think if you ask
any prosecutor,
we don't like when
all of our evidence
is out there.
So, the city and the
prosecutors, um...
They knew the facts
of this case, um...
From a very early-on stage.
They knew the contents
of the video.
But we had a political
storm that was brewing.
President Obama's former
Chief of Staff,
current-Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
is in a race against Cook
County Commissioner
Jesus "Chewy" Garcia.
[man] That Emanuel
even has a competitor
is a stunning setback, but his
failure to win a majority
in the February election
forced him into a run-off.
[Jeff] The run-off election was
absolutely a factor in
the city's suppression
of this tape.
I was... I was ready
to, you know,
"Fuck the city. Let's
file this lawsuit.
Let's release this video."
But then the city called
us back and said,
"We want to discuss
settling it."
And so we had many meetings with.
Laquan's family about what was
the best way to proceed.
And that was something
we agonized about.
The family, of course, has
lost someone,
and they went, "Why can't
this person be charged?"
What's gonna... I want him
kicked off the force.
"I want him in jail."
And you tell them,
"We don't have the power"
to charge somebody
and lock somebody up
or cost them their job.
All we can do is ask the city
"to compensate you
for your loss."
And so, since we may not
get him to go to jail...
that settlement became one of
the tools that the family had
to fight this Goliath.
We had to throw the hardest
blows that we could throw.
Unsettling drone
[woman] 15. Standby.
In five, four, three,
ready int? Two...
Tonight, NBC 5 Investigates, a
Carol Marin exclusive.
Laquan McDonald died
on October 20th
after being shot 16 times by
one Chicago police officer.
Just six months later, the
family of Laquan McDonald
agreed to a $5 million
settlement with the city
prior to any lawsuit
being filed.
There is a huge flag
when the city,
without much argument,
without much discussion,
with very little time,
offers $5 million.
We've dealt with any
number of city lawsuits
that linger forever.
So why this and why that fast?
That was... That was the
reddest of red flags.
The City of Chicago denies,
according to the settlement
agreement, allegations
of wrongdoing.
The dash cam video has not
been released by the city.
[Will] What happened with the
Laquan McDonald settlement
is that the family or the
lawyers could not release
the video evidence to show us,
in the general public,
what really happened that night.
I think Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor,
suppressed this video
to be re-elected in 2015.
Without a doubt.
If this tape would've came out
when he was running
for re-election,
he would've never been elected.
Thank you, Chicago!
Was this a cover-up? I think
it was a cover-up.
- What do we do?
- Stand up, fight back!
[woman] When black lives are
under attack! What do you do?
- Rise up, fight back!
- What do you do?
Rise up, fight back!
I don't need to see a
video to know that
the Chicago Police Department
consistently lie about things,
because that's how the
department is set up.
We must love each other
and protect each other.
I wasn't surprised that
the City of Chicago
and Anita Alvarez, Cook
County's State's Attorney,
was sitting on the video,
the Chicago Police
Department was sitting
on the video, because there
was a movement going on
at that time that was
ready to respond.
- Who can you trust?
- Not the police!
Wild afternoon on the
streets here in Chicago,
and the protest ended
in several arrests.
[Will] We want people
to demand justice.
We want people to
take to the streets.
[crowd shouting indistinctly]
[Charlene] At the time, the news
about whether or not the video
would be released, it was
starting to amp up.
And so, there's an
escalation of...
Of both tactics and an
escalation of involvement
from people across the city.
- What do we want?
- Justice!
- When do we want it?
- Now!
- What do we want?
- Justice!
- When do we want it?
- Now!
[Garry] We're in a tough time
for policing right now.
I don't think this climate has
ever existed in the history
of American policing.
[Charlene] And so we
were being asked,
"What are your demands?"
"Fire the Superintendent,."
Rahm Emanuel resign,
"Anita Alvarez, we will vote
you out of office."
[overlapping chatter]
Have you herd o...
Of Kim... Foxx?
If it don't say "Foxx," it
ain't the right box.
[Kim] Prior to the campaign,
I served 12 years
as an Assistant State's Attorney
here in Cook County.
And yes, I do believe that
there's been an issue
of accountability with law
enforcement here in Chicago.
How you doing, sir?
Kim Foxx, running for State's...
- I'm on my way right now.
- All right. I need that vote.
I need that vote.
- God bless.
- God bless you!
- How are you, ma'am?
- How you doin'?
Do the right thing.
Thank you, sir.
- Love you, sis.
- Love you, too.
Thank you.
has not had to reckon
with what happens
when you don't hold folks
in law enforcement
accountable for their misdeeds.
Parts of the force have
acted in a way
where they're immune from
any accountability
for what's happened.
My mother, when I had
my children...
I have two daughters,
uh... was so grateful
that I didn't have sons.
And I thought, "Oh, you're
grateful because you get"
more children that look
like me? [Laughs]
"And you get to re-live having...
Having a daughter?"
And she said, "No",
because I don't want you to
feel what it feels like
"to worry about your
son in this city."
And then for so many
in our communities,
that that is a real and
ever-present concern
about the safety
of their children,
not just by random
violence but also
by the systems that are supposed
to be there to protect them.
[woman] A judge is expected to
decide if dash cam video
of a teenager being shot and
killed by a Chicago police
officer will be released
to the public.
[Will] We got together, we
and we went in, and we sat down.
I got those jitters. You know,
"We've come this far,
we might lose."
The judge, he began going
through his decision letter.
I think it was about
seven pages.
I just was really shocked.
The judge finds,
as we had argued and
as we had showed,
that there was no
legitimate or lawful basis
for the police department
to withhold this video
of a state-killing of
a 17-year-old boy
from the public.
Even though this is
what the law required,
even though this is
the right thing to do,
I don't know that I even
believed that it was happening
as it was happening.
This was historic.
[woman] The videotape
will be released and seen
by the public in a
matter of days.
[Anita] I can't wait any longer,
'cause this video's
gonna be released
and we're all gonna react.
It was a tsunami that I
certainly couldn't stop.
I know that the state would
never have brought
murder charges in this case
but for the release
of the video.
There's not a doubt in my mind.
I make my... my... my, um,
decisions based on
facts and evidence.
And so attorneys who are
out there, you know,
making money are
going to, you know,
say whatever.
It is my determination
that this police
officer's actions
were not justified
and they were not
a proper use of deadly force.
[man] ...Why did you
shoot 16 times?
[woman] Mr. Van Dyke, anxiety?
Until the video of this
horrific shooting
was released...
there was a zero chance of...
Of police accountability.
That was the very first
time in our history
that an on-duty Chicago
police officer
had ever been charged
with killing
a black man, woman, or child.
[Kim] I saw the video...
the day it was released
to the public.
I... I paused initially, um...
because it f...
Something felt really...
perverse about a city
waiting to watch
a video of a boy being killed.
And yet, you felt like
you had to see it.
[indistinct radio
chatter and sirens]
Emotional piano
Emotional piano
It wasn't about politics.
As a life-long Chicagoan,
not a candidate, not a...
I thought of my brother, I
thought of my husband.
And I understood my
mother's angst.
[unintelligible radio chatter]
[man] 10-4. Anybody close?
[garbled radio chatter]
[man over radio] Let me know
when he's in custody, guys.
[man] Shots fired by the police.
[garbled radio chatter]
[man] Get the ambulance
over here.
[indistinct radio chatter]
[woman] What were your
thoughts when you watched it?
It... [sighs] It... it was...
That's a good question. Uh...
As... As you look at
something frame-by-frame,
again, without the emotions
that are involved,
you can draw a conclusion.
My conclusion was, you know,
the officer did what
he had to do
to protect himself.
I see a situation that is...
gotten away.
I don't know...
where everybody's head is at
in that situation.
There's a knife.
I'm sorry, but that's a threat.
If somebody gets near you,
within 21 feet of you,
with an open knife,
you could die.
As you saw, and I've seen,
Laquan McDonald was murdered.
This family wants justice to
be served, and justice for us
is Jason Van Dyke being
convicted of the murder
of Laquan McDonald.
[man] Officer Jason Van
Dyke started shooting
six seconds after he got
out of his vehicle.
[man] McDonald was walking
away from the arriving
police vehicles when the
shooting happened.
[man] The officer fired 16
shots in just 15 seconds.
[woman] The city and
the unions did not tell
the truth about what happened.
[man] The Mayor's Office
lied for months about
what's in the video.
[Jamie] At this point, we saw
the utter breakdown
of the machinery.
They don't have control
of the narrative,
and so sources within the city
and the police department,
who have stonewalled the press
in response to every single
question about this case,
start leaking information
that is derogatory towards
the victim.
[woman] McDonald was known to
have been carrying knife.
[woman] This was a troubled,
troubled boy.
- A ward of the state.
- The tragedy of this
young man's life led to him
making these bad decisions.
- It's truly not a murder case.
- PCP in his system.
- PCP in his system.
- PCP, which, is a
psychotic drug, whi-
makes you go crazy.
You don't see anybody
willing to admit that
what we have to do is
go after that monster,
the guy that doesn't belong
on the street with you,
with my wife, with my daughter.
This isn't an Ivy League
college kid we're talkin'.
We're not talking to
an Oxford Scholar.
Laquan McDonald could've
had a Oxford sweatshirt on
and it wouldn't have made
a difference whatsoever.
I don't care if he was on PCP.
I don't... I don't care if
Laquan McDonald was high,
if he, um, was aggitational.
He was shot 16 times.
suspenseful music
Two, three...
six, seven...
eight, nine...
ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.
He was shot 16 times.
- [chanting] 16 shots.
- [chanting] Shut it down!
For some, he was their son,
he was their brother,
he was them.
[crowd chanting] 16 shots!
16 shots!
[Will] You know how many
times I ran from
the police growing up?
In this city?
How many times that I was
put in the position where
Chicago police pull guns on me?
So when I saw Laquan, I saw me.
- They're still shopping!
- Shut it down!
Shut the stores down!
- Block the store!
- Shut it down!
- Go to the store!
- Protests paralyzing.
- Black Friday shopping.
- One of the busiest,
if not the busiest shopping
day of the year.
We hit the streets hard.
Very hard.
[man] ...And we stop their money.
If we disrupt their money,
we disrupt their politics.
[Will] We had probably one of
the most powerful economic
protests this city
has ever seen.
The county of Cook
came together,
and they stood with this
family. And they said
that this is wrong.
This is wrong.
[chanting] 16 shots! 16 shots!
16 shots!, 16 shots!,
16 shots!, 16 shots!, 16 shots!
[Mayor Emanuel]
We are here today
because Chicago is facing
a defining moment
on the issues of crime
and policing.
[Craig] The first line
of defense is denial.
The next thing is
"One bad apple."
But now, the entire guts of
the department were exposed.
Nothing can excuse what
happened to Laquan McDonald.
Supervision and leadership
in the police department...
And that has to change.
No officer should be
allowed to behave
as if they are above the law
just because they
are responsible
for upholding the law.
The problem is sometimes
referred to
as "the Code of Silence."
[woman] Mayor Emanuel has
acknowledged a code of silence
exists in the Chicago
Police Department.
- [coughs] He acknowledged it.
- He acknowledges a problem
that others have
vehemently denied.
- We now have an admission...
- The Chief of the Police Union
declared today, "There is no
'Code of Silence' in Chicago."
After all," he said,
"this is not 1950."
[Dean] So you're saying
that I'm a liar
because I got a police
patch on my shoulder.
Or I can't be trusted when
I raise my hand in court.
To ask for us to admit
that we go out of our
way to conspire...
is... is an insult.
[woman] If there is no
"Code of Silence,"
why do all the officer
statements look the same?
You got me. And I gotta be
honest with you now,
I do not like
the way we're going
with this interview.
The Mayor said, "The
'Code of Silence'"
goes through the
police department."
The Mayor controls
the police department.
You tell me what it means.
Will you resign?
Should you resign?
I'm not gonna resign.
Um, and... and
I go all day long with people
coming up to me and saying,
"Stay strong.
We've got your back."
Superintendent McCarthy
knows that a police officer
is only as effective
as when he has
the trust of those he serves.
This morning, I formally
asked for his resignation.
I become accountable for things
that I'm not in control of.
And accountability without
authority is failure.
16 years of really strong
executive leadership.
I really thought that
I was going to be
one of the individuals
that helped...
That would help take
policing through
the most troubled
time in its history.
Uh, and instead, here
I am on the sidelines,
watching it. Watching it
spiral out of control.
We're reaching mayhem.
Intensifying drone
[woman] The Mayor
announced the formation
- of a task force...
- To help restore public
trust and confidence
in the police,
that are now sorely lacking.
[indistinct chatter]
[Lori] We believe
that these meetings,
uh... serve a very
valuable purpose.
We've had them all
over the city,
the West side, the South side.
And we will call on
those who have signed up
in advance to speak
so that we can provide
as much time as possible
for public comment.
Jane [indistinct].
[man] Hi, Jane. How are you?
[cheers, applause, and snapping]
This didn't happen
because Laquan McDonald
was shot 16 times, right?
This only happened after
a year of a cover-up.
[cheers and snapping]
[crowd chanting]
Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!
[Page] You can never bring
Laquan McDonald back.
One of the things that we can
do, though, is hold people
that knew about this that
covered it up accountable.
The State's Attorney, who has
participated in the cover-up
of Laquan McDonald,
should be held accountable.
Suspenseful music
I, too, do not have confidence
in Ms. Anita Alvarez.
I have it on extreme
good authority
that Mayor Emanuel's
strategic political advisors,
They met day... the next
day or two days after
I announced charges
to discuss the fact
that they were all
going to somehow
point the finger at
me to distract
any kind of criticism
of the Mayor.
David Axelrod, one of the
chief political strategists
in this country, coming
from the White House
and working with Rahm Emanuel,
starts tweeting about me.
And it was so convenient now,
because he barely
won his re-election,
they didn't want
him to be beat up,
they didn't want him to be
criticized, and suddenly,
I take the brunt of all of this,
and I get portrayed as
some kind of monster.
Anita Alvarez is still
leading in the polls.
I remember the election
day, just, like,
wanting to throw up.
[overlapping chatter]
Music building
[Kim] My daughters were
with me and my husband
and my brother was there.
And the room was packed,
and it was hot.
[cheers and applause]
[chanting] ...Kim Foxx! Kim
Foxx! Kim Foxx! Kim Foxx!
And my first thought was...
Dang it. My mother and my
grandmother would be so proud.
This race is not so much just
about saying "Goodbye."
It's about turning the page,
and I understand the
- excitement.
- [cheering]
I understand the excitement,
but let us not get lost
in the gravity of the
work that is ahead of us.
My second thought was...
"Don't fuck it up."
The Black Lives movement
and related protest groups
are claiming credit.
First, it was Superintendent
Garry McCarthy.
Last night, Anita Alvarez.
- [chanting] Two down!
- [chanting] One to go!
I will still hold
Kim Foxx accountable
if her actions don't align
with her rhetoric, for sure.
Almost overnight, the
power and legitimacy
of city institutions...
Utterly cratered.
Tense erratic music
And that creates this
unprecedented opportunity
in Chicago and nationally
for real police reform.
But a backlash was
also building.
[man] Repeat after me.
I, having been appointed
to the office
- of the police officer...
- I, having been appointed
to the office of
the police officer...
- to the City of Chicago.
- To the City of Chicago.
Police are the sheepdogs,
the protectors of the
flock from the wolves
that exist in society.
[crowd] ...that I will
support the Constitution
- of the United States.
- And the Constitution
- of the State of Illinois.
- The problem becomes
the sheepdog looks
very much like a wolf.
They keep going
after the police.
The police are the bad guys.
"Hey, we got a video.
He was wrong.
Charge him with murder."
[laughs] Charge him with murder?
What are you talking about?
We can jump back to
Baltimore, Freddie Gray,
Eric Garner in New York.
How many people were convicted?
The grand jury has just
decided not to indict
a New York City police officer
over the death of Eric Garner.
All six Baltimore
police officers
charged in the death
of Freddie Gray
have been cleared.
There is going to be
no indictment.
I'm reminded of Rodney King.
What the country needs
to look at is
how it plays out in court.
[Dan] Am I gonna win this case?
[man] Come on, people.
Make a hole!
I will tell you after
I pick the jury
what my odds are.
[Will] It was a tense time.
It was a tense time
while we was waiting.
All these cases where we've
seen African-Americans
killed o... on camera.
Alton Sterling, on-camera.
Eric Garner, on-camera.
So was I nervous?
Yeah, I was nervous.
We want justice for all
the names and every...
Every life that was taken by
Chicago Police Department.
This corruption runs deep.
It runs deep.
It'll be four years since
Laquan's been shot, man.
And we still haven't
got any type of justice
for Laquan McDonald.
And I'm not gonna stop
until we get justice.
- Say 16 shots!
- 16 shots!
- [chanting] 16 shots!
- [chanting] 16 shots!
- 16 shots and a cover-up!
- [chanting] What?
- 16 shots and a cover-up!
- [crowd] What?
Laquan McDonald was
shot 16 times
by police officer Jason
Van Dyke, and he died.
That... That happened.
Was he murdered?
Or was he killed?
Did a child die?
Or did a suspect die?
All of those things
are dependent
on how we respond.
Rhythmic synth
[indistinct chatter]
going to jail,
the whole damn system
is guilty as hell.
[Charlene] I braced myself
for a "not guilty" verdict.
I didn't even think
about the possibility
of any police officer
being found guilty
in the killing of
a black person.
[Will] We did a rally here
the day before the trial.
One of the reporters had
pulled me to the side.
"I want to ask you something
but I want to get your
response while I ask you."
I remember just freezing.
Breaking news from City Hall,
and a bombshell announcement
from Mayor Rahm Emanuel
during a news conference
just moments ago.
As much as I love this job
and will always love this
city and its residents,
I have decided not
to seek re-election.
The announcement from
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
that caught most of
Chicago off-guard.
Sources close to the
Mayor said they were
95% sure he would
run for re-election.
Today, we saw the 5%.
Garry McCarthy gone,
Anita Alvarez gone,
now Rahm Emanuel gone.
This is the former
Chief of Staff
for the 44th President
of the United States.
I mean, that's heavy.
[man] Emanuel made no mention
of the looming trial
of Jason Van Dyke.
[woman] Van Dyke is charged
with first-degree murder
and 16 counts of aggravated
battery with a firearm,
a count for each time
he shot McDonald.
[Jamie] There was quite a
euphoric mood on the street.
The trial finally beginning and
then the Mayor's announcement...
[woman] The judge and
jury expected to hear
opening statements in
the long-awaited trial
of Chicago police
officer Jason Van Dyke.
That first day, you could feel
the tension in the room.
I just wanted to be there,
um... as a means of support
and to demonstrate to
the officers out there
in the vehicles that somebody is
standing with this kid.
[Will] It was intense.
You had one side that was.
Laquan's family, community
members, and supporters.
And then, you had another
side, which was
Jason Van Dyke's family
and Fraternal Order of
Police union members,
and supporters.
The courtroom is the stage.
It's literally a stage.
The jury is a kind of
silent Greek chorus.
[Charlene] You knew
it made history.
For a Chicago police
to be on trial
in the first place for
murder, number one.
And for murdering a black
person, number two.
I was like, "Okay, how are they
gonna perceive me?"
Since I was the only black.
[Will] It was like, oh my God...
They introduce you to
the defense team,
and the prosecution team,
and you're going, "Wow,
this is for real."
But it doesn't...
It didn't feel real.
It felt surreal. So many times,
it felt surreal.
[door squeaks closed]
[woman] This [indistinct]
branch of the Circuit Court
of Cook County is
now in session.
[Dan] This courtroom was
packed. It was filled.
People were stuffed in there,
and you could've
heard a pin drop.
The silence was deafening.
The story in this case
is a story written,
directed, and orchestrated
by one person:
Laquan McDonald.
Think about it like
a horror movie.
You see the villain walking
down the street.
Not very fearful, but when
he stops and he turns
and makes eye contact
with the victim,
then that's when the
music starts to play.
Well, that's what happened here.
We filed a motion, and actually,
that motion was granted,
that the prosecution
cannot refer to Laquan
McDonald as a "victim."
Laquan McDonald was,
uh, was an offender
in this case and was
a dangerous person.
Laquan McDonald goes over to
him... and attempts to stab.
I remember that Laquan
was in and out of
juvenile detention, um...
Had several scrapes
with the law.
Um, so they were
setting him up to...
To look like a... a bad guy,
a... a kid gone wrong.
Shows the story of a
out-of-control individual
who didn't care about anyone.
It was classic putting
the victim on trial.
That's all it was. It was jus...
It was classic. That's
what they always do.
I didn't ever f... think
of it that way,
that he's putting the
victim on trial.
I didn't think of it that way.
I just thought of it
as that he was
raising serious questions and...
And hoping that maybe some
of the jurors would think,
"You know, this kid
was so rotten and bad,"
of course he was
about ready to, uh,
"run after Jason."
I don't care how you
twist this thing around,
how you turn it around,
Van Dyke is not the victim.
The victim is in the cemetery.
That's the victim.
I sat on the right side.
So about two rows were full
of F.O.P. union members, right?
Right when they was about to
call Officer McElligott
names out, the whole two
rows got up and walked out.
J-O-S-E-P-H M-C-E-L-L-I-G-O-T-T.
[Kim] And by whom are
you employed, sir?
Chicago Police Department.
He's called to the
stand and he's clearly
not happy to be there.
He's the initial responder
the night of the incident.
And when he takes the stand,
it's the first time the public
has heard a police officer
describe what happened
- that night.
- On October 20th,
did you respond to
a dispatch call?
Suspenseful music
[Jamie] There was
a 911 call that
someone's been trying
to break into trucks
in a truck yard.
[McElligott] He took his
hands out of his pockets
and he had a knife in his hand.
[Kim] Did he do anything
with that knife?
[McElligott] He just held it.
[Jamie] They ask the
boy to drop the knife,
he doesn't respond.
As opposed to ratcheting
up the encounter,
they call for a taser.
They don't ask for massive
backup, they ask for a taser.
[McElligott] I just
kept my distance.
I had my flashlight out and
I had my gun out on him,
just watched his move.
[Jamie] There's a
second video that
has not been widely seen.
It's surveillance video
from a couple of blocks
from the site of the shooting.
McElligott's gotten out
of the police vehicle
and is walking behind
Laquan McDonald.
There's nobody else
around, they're not
protecting anybody from him.
There's certainly no evidence
of anything combative
on the part of Laquan McDonald,
but nor is there anything
provocative about
the behavior of the officers.
[Kim] Did he threaten
you with the knife?
[McElligott] No.
Uh, we walked...
all the way to the car lot.
[Jamie] In fact,
these officers are
accompanying Laquan
McDonald towards his death.
They don't know it.
He doesn't know it.
Moments later,
Van Dyke gets out of his car,
and within a matter of
seconds, has shot the boy.
They're standing there
a gratuitous atrocity.
[Kim] Why didn't you
fire your weapon?
Um... He didn't make any
direct movement at me,
and I felt like my partner
was protected,
for the most part,
inside the vehicle.
I mean, you're the police.
In my day, that kid
never gets to Pulaski.
Never. You know?
You take him, somehow,
when he's leaving
that truck yard.
He never gets that far.
[woman] So if McElligott
had done his job,
none of this would
have happened?
You know, what McElligott
does or doesn't do
turns into what we
have on Pulaski.
They look at them as a rat.
Or traitors, you know?
For not maintaining this
Blue Code of Silence
inside the Chicago
Police Department.
[woman] Were you surprised
to see officers
breaking rank to testify?
Yeah, I was.
I was shocked.
Sparse synth
[woman] The trial of
a white police officer
charged with murdering
a black teenager
- resumes today.
- Of course, there are a lot
a lot of crucial decisions
that need to be made,
including whether Jason
Van Dyke will testify
- on his own behalf.
- The defense still has not said
whether Van Dyke himself
will take the stand.
[woman] Jason Van Dyke, taking
the stand in his own defense.
It doesn't happen very often.
[Dan] I mean, I was
a prosecutor.
You know, I recognize
the significance of
a defendant taking
a witness stand.
But we knew, at that
point in time,
that jury had to hear
from Jason Van Dyke.
And Jason Van Dyke
had to convince them
that he was not guilty of
first-degree murder.
Right before Jason
testified, I literally
sweat through my shirt,
because I was so nervous
about his testimony.
Jason Van Dyke. V-A-N D-Y-K-E.
[Dan] How old are you, Jason?
I'm 40 years old.
[Dean] We were staring
at each other.
He told me, he says, "You know",
I was watching you, looking at
you when I was testifying."
Which kind of gave me the...
I knew he was,
but he didn't have to tell me.
You know, we were
making eye contact
and he was trying to relax.
[Dan] Did you see Laquan
McDonald when you got
- out of the car?
- Yes.
[Dan] And could you
see him? His face?
His face had no expression.
His eyes were just bugging
out of his head.
He had just these huge...
wide eyes just staring
right through me.
He turned his torso towards me.
[Dan] And what, if anything,
did he do with his arm?
He waved the knife from his
lower right side upwards,
across his body towards
my left shoulder.
[Dan] And when he did that,
what did you do, officer?
I shot him.
[Will] It's crocodile tears.
For me, it was like
the audacity...
for you to get up there
and act like you a victim.
For you to act like you the
victim out of all of this,
the audacity.
You murdered this young man.
In cold blood.
And you have no remorse.
He has no remorse.
I felt bad for him, you know?
I felt, uh, I could see
him breaking up,
because he got confused
a little bit.
[woman] During those six
seconds, you're getting
closer to him, correct?
I now know that, yeah.
I... I took a couple
steps towards him, yeah.
[woman] Well, you took
more than a couple steps,
because you go all
the way up past
your squad car, correct?
The end of your squad car?
I'm not sure.
I just killed somebody.
I'm from a suburb
outside Chicago
in a very non-diverse
environment I grew up in.
And I come into the middle of
the most violent city
in one of the most
violent neighborhoods,
and you're telling me
I should've realized I stepped
forward or backward?
I could see... [sighs]
You know, I could s... [sighs]
[exhales deeply]
[clears throat]
I could see him starting to
push up with his left hand
off the ground.
And I see his left shoulder
start to come up,
and I still see him holding
that... that knife
with his right hand,
not letting go of it.
And his eyes are
still bugged out,
his face has got no
expression on it.
What was so palpable with
Jason Van Dyke was the...
The reality of his fear.
All he kind of had to
stand on was his...
Was his fear.
All he could coherently say
about what happened that night
was that he was terrified.
[woman] Four years
after the shooting,
the trial and case have taken on
huge importance in Chicago.
[man] One of the most
closely-watched trials
in the city's history.
[man] The trial of a generation
threatens to set
a match to a racial tinderbox.
[woman] Now, everyone who's
watching this testimony
kind of sees all this evidence
through their own lens,
but really, what's going to
matter is how the jurors
are viewing this evidence.
[Jamie] There's never been,
at least in my awareness,
a case about which, in one
sense, we knew so much.
But all of those facts are in
tension and competition
with another story
that is extraordinarily strong,
seeps up from the groundwater
in our society,
and is based less on
evidence than on fear.
Remember? We talked
about this in opening.
I said, "Think about
a monster movie."
When they're walking
down the street,
and let's say there's...
the... the victim is
hiding in the bush, you know,
there's not much danger here.
But when that monster
suddenly stops and turns
and looks right at that...
That victim in the bush,
I... I think I said that's
when the music starts to play.
That's when...
That's when the filmmakers
are like, "Okay",
I got him right now."
We knew that we would
never convince all the jurors.
Our plan was to
strike up a rapport
with several jurors that
could create a hung jury.
First-degree murder.
It's unprecedented.
It's unprecedented
for a police officer,
first-degree murder?
So I'm gonna ask ya,
when you go back
to the jury room,
you owe it to yourself
to make the right decision here.
We also owe it to
our... to our city,
our county, our country.
You have a very
important job here.
I was convinced by the defense,
yes, Jason thought
his life was being...
Was being endangered so he shot.
The jury believed that he
feared for his life.
[woman] Everyone is
waiting for the verdict,
and right now, jurors are
deciding the fate
- of Jason Van Dyke.
- Police ramping up
for the Jason Van Dyke
verdict. It could come
- any day now.
- Chicago is on high alert
this morning, bracing
for the possibility
of mass protest and
Okay. We're ready.
Jason Van Dyke needs to go to
jail. He is a murderer.
That is a high hill to climb
because at this point,
nothing has ever happened to a
Chicago police officer
for anything that they've done
to an African-American person.
The family wanted to
officially say on-record
that we are people of faith.
I went in there with faith,
but I went in there angry,
wanting something to happen.
We are conscious that
Laquan McDonald represents
all of the victims of,
uh... police violence
I wanted something to happen,
but I wanted it to happen within
the confines of the law.
We're asking for complete peace.
We don't want any violence
before, during, or after
the verdict in this trial.
I think that was the most
intense time this city
has ever seen. Ever.
We was calling for a
complete shut-down
of the city of Chicago
if Van Dyke was
found not guilty.
We wanted everybody
to take to the streets
and shut the city completely
down, and that's what we
was prepared to do.
And I'm sure others was
com... was prepared to do
more than that, but...
soft piano
This verdict is about to be
read. If it is guilty,
then we're celebrating.
And if he is acquitted,
we will shut it down!
[crowd chanting] Shut it down!
Shut it down! Shut it down!
- [chanting] If we don't get it?
- [chanting] Shut it down!
[woman] If we don't get it?!
Shut it down!
[woman] A whole city is
waiting for the verdict
in officer Jason Van
Dyke's murder trial.
Basically said, "Have
you reached a jury?"
And they said, "We have." A
woman said, "We have."
[man] Keep coming.
And now they're waiting.
The whole city is waiting.
People all over have
their radios on
and their phones close.
[man] We are about a little
less than 30 minutes away
from the verdict being
read aloud in open court.
The judge has summoned
everybody back to
- the courtroom.
- It looks like everyone's
in court by now, ready to go...
[Charlene] I had a
full-on panic attack.
I was sitting in-between
two people in tears.
[woman] Here we go, y'all.
[woman over radio] It is
packed right now. All parties
are present. We are now at
1:48 in the afternoon.
The judge had said that the
verdict will be read at 1:45,
so we are thinking that we
are getting very close.
We was going back to the court
room, and I couldn't stop
thinking, like, "Damn..."
Like, three and a
half years, man,
for it to come down
to this moment.
And I was just praying and
praying and praying,
just walking back and forth
and I was so... I just felt
my chest just...
My heart beating
through my chest.
I can't front, I was so scared.
[man] Will you please
read the verdict?
[woman] We, the jury, find the
defendant, Jason Van Dyke...
guilty of second-degree murder.
[whispering] Man, man, man...
I think when she said that,
part of me, my soul,
sort of left my body.
It's like when you hear
you can't believe it.
[man] Quiet!
[Will] So after she read that,
she began to read aloud
all the counts of aggravated
[woman] We, the jury, find the
defendant, Jason Van Dyke,
guilty of aggravated battery
with a firearm, first shot.
[Will] Shot one, guilty.
[woman] ...Jason Van Dyke,
guilty of aggravated battery.
[Will] Shot two, guilty.
Another aggravated batt.
[Will] Shot three, guilty.
Shot four, guilty.
Shot five, guilty.
Shot six, guilty.
Shot seven, guilty.
Shot eight, guilty.
Shot nine, guilty.
Shot ten, guilty.
Shot 11, guilty.
Shot 12, guilty.
Shot 13, guilty.
Shot 14, guilty.
Shot 15, guilty.
Shot 16...
[whispering] ...guilty.
Everything we've been
through was worth it.
Everything! [Sniffling]
[indistinct chatter]
A officer was convicted
for murder.
By a majority, almost
all-white jury.
In front of the entire nation.
He was guilty of every count
of aggravated battery
with a firearm, which carries
six to 30 years per count,
which means he can be cha...
He can be given 30 years
times 16. Somebody do the math.
What's 30 years times 16?
The rest of his life.
- We never get justice!
- Yes!
Today, we got justice.
It gave me, being a
black man, just...
You can't do that
to us. You can't...
You can't do what you've been
doing these past decades...
t... to my generation or
the generations before me.
It's over. That time is over.
- Everything changes after today!
- That's right.
- Everything changed today!
- That's right!
And it's not done. We want
the rest of those officers,
we want them convicted as well.
Justice for Laquan!
[chanting] Justice for Laquan!
Justice for Laquan!
Justice for Laquan!
Justice for Laquan!
[woman] We love y'all!
Power to the people!
[man over megaphone]
God bless the family!
God bless the family.
My hope is that Laquan's family
has some level of peace.
And if we talk about the
movement for black lives,
this is undoubtedly one of
the most important stories,
and the arc of it is...
Is several years long.
[chanting] Show me what
Chicago looks like!
[chanting] This is what
Chicago looks like!
[Charlene] All the investigation
that happened,
all the campaigns that
were run around this,
the unseating of Anita Alvarez,
the decision of Rahm Emanuel
to not run for re-election.
Heads rolled with this trial,
heads rolled with this verdict,
and they're continuing to roll.
We did that, so what
else is possible now?
Eerie music
Yeah, I guess this case
has kind of shaken me,
with respect to, you
know, justice.
Not only was I representing
Jason Van Dyke,
I was representing law
enforcement in general.
I think a lot of officers
see themselves
as being the victim that
Jason Van Dyke is.
As far as circling the
wagons and feeling like
it's us against them, yeah,
I don't think it's ever been
more prominent, uh,
than it is right now.
[indistinct chatter]
We got a problem, folks
We got a problem.
There's no place in this
city that we can say
we're safe anymore.
It kind of flipped
a switch for me.
I said, "I can't stand
by and watch this."
My public service DNA took over,
and I jumped into this thing.
Something has to change.
The police are under attack.
They're under attack by the
press, they're under attack
by elected officials,
they're under attack
by community leaders.
It's fashionable to attack
the police now.
I want to tell you something
that's really important to me,
and I hope you guys
felt it in CPD,
is... is there's nobody more
important than the troops.
The fact that young people
are being encouraged
to not comply with the police
is putting the
Constitution in danger.
I'm not optimistic at all.
We're reaching anarchy.
Soft piano
[Charlene] Taken away.
As though it never happened.
The system is so...
I'm sorry, it's jacked up.
I'm glad I did my job,
but I feel betrayed.
[man speaking over radio]
The jury verdict was 16 counts,
16 shots.
[woman over radio]
Multiple shots fired.
[Jamie] It was a moment
of moral clarity.
But short-lived.
We're still fighting
over the story.
The struggle started the
moment the shots were fired.
And it's the story at
the center of
our racial nightmare
in this country.
I would go so far as to say that
it's a matter of life and death.
Eerie shimmering synths