Watch: New Showtime Documentary 16 Shots Explores Chicago Police Cover-Up of Laquan McDonald Murder

16 Shots (2019) Official Trailer / Showtime (YouTube)

“This boy been shot—and it’s a lot of bullet holes in him.”

In 2014, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’s body was tragically riddled with 16 bullets discharged in an appalling 14 seconds by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. A judge later found Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder. However, this “justice” would come four years too late, thanks to former detective David March and former officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney, who falsified reports in Van Dyke’s favor. To add insult to injury, those same officers were absolved of any wrongdoing and were found not guilty.


McDonald’s name will not be forgotten. Nor will his story. Showtime has released the trailer for 16 Shots, chronicling the cover-up of one of the Second City’s most high-profile cases.

Per Showtime’s press release:

The feature examines the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the cover-up that ensued. After the police initially declared the shooting as justified, journalists and activists fought for footage of the event to be released, sending the Chicago Police Department and local Chicago government officials into upheaval as the community demanded justice. Rowley’s film dissects the cover-up through first-hand witness accounts which led to the unprecedented conviction that fractured the political landscape of Chicago.

“The shooting of Laquan McDonald tore up Chicago in ways the city is still processing today,” said Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Nonfiction Programming for Showtime, in the press release. “With 16 Shots, Rick Rowley and his team deliver an unflinching and deep look at one of the most notorious police shootings in our history.”

16 Shots is helmed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard Rowley (Dirty Wars).


As the trailer states, this isn’t just about a cover-up, it’s about the “racial nightmare” we’re living in today.

16 Shots premieres on Showtime Friday, June 14 At 9 PM ET/PT.