Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that video footage of a black man who was fatally shot by Chicago police last year will be released soon.
The family of Ronald “Ronnie” Johnson III has fought for the past year to bring the video to light, but has been blocked by the city at several turns.
Johnson, 25, was shot to death just after midnight on Oct. 12, 2014, when police responded to a report of shots fired near Washington Park on the city’s South Side.
The official police account of events initially said officers saw a man who fit the description of the suspect who ran away as police approached. Police alleged that Johnson “pointed a gun” at officers.
Johnson’s mother, Dorothy Holmes, filed a lawsuit against police and alleged the officers acted “without lawful justification or excuse.” Holmes’ lawyers claim police planted the gun on the young man after he was gunned down.
The dashcam footage of the shooting revealed a series of events that bear resemblance to the Laquan McDonald shooting: The alleged shooter, Officer George Hernandez, opened fire within seconds of arriving on the scene, as did the officer who shot McDonald. Johnson, like McDonald, was fleeing police, not threatening them. Finally, dashcam audio was conspicuously missing in both cases.
In McDonald’s case, the video footage disproved the police’s characterization of events.