Fresh uproar may be on the horizon in Chicago. Amid calls for greater transparency, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said yesterday that the city will no longer oppose the release of a police dashboard video that reportedly shows an officer fatally shooting a black man in the back, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Authorities said that Police Officer George Hernandez shot Ronald Johnson, 25, only after Johnson pointed a gun at the officer. But for more than a year, the city has fought in court to block the release of the video.
The city has told the court that releasing the video would stir anger and make it unlikely for Hernandez to get a fair trial if charged.
But Emanuel is rethinking the city’s position. When reporters asked about releasing that video, the mayor said, “Yeah, we will do that next week,” according to the Tribune.
This about-face comes in the aftermath of protests following the court-ordered release of the police dash-cam video showing Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke gunning down 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
On Tuesday, Emanuel fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy but continues to battle against calls for his own resignation.
Michael Oppenheimer, the attorney for Johnson’s mother, has fought in court for the release of the video and believes that the police are trying to cover up what really happened.
Oppenheimer said that the video shows Hernandez getting out of his patrol car and, within two seconds, firing five times at a fleeing Johnson—a suspected gang member. He believes the police planted a gun in Johnson’s hand to justify the shooting. After watching the video many times, Oppenheimer said that there was nothing in Johnson’s hand.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.