'Day of Action' Marks Anniversary of Laquan McDonald Killing - NBC 7 San Diego
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'Day of Action' Marks Anniversary of Laquan McDonald Killing



    (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    The two-year anniversary of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald was met with protests and calls for change from hundreds of demonstrators.

    With some declaring Oct. 20 Laquan Day, protesters are expected to gather for a “day of action” to “commemorate his life.”

    An event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Chicago Police Headquarters, where demonstrators are set to speak out at a Chicago Police Board Hearing, demanding the “termination of all police officers involved with falsifying police reports in efforts of covering up [McDonald’s] death.”

    Seventeen-year-old McDonald was shot 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014, by a Chicago officer. Police claimed at the time McDonald has lunged at them, but dashcam video released last year showed McDonald apparently walking away when he was shot.

    Officers at the scene said McDonald was told numerous times to drop his knife, but the dashcam video of the shooting had no audio.

    Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in McDonald's death; he had pleaded not guilty. Several other officers involved in the case face administrative charges, including making a false report.

    Many have questioned the handling of the case over the last two years, with a grand jury set to consider whether or not police officers lied in connection with the shooting.

    A woman who witnessed the fatal police shooting has filed a federal lawsuit claiming she was detained by police and pressured to change her story shortly after the shooting.

    “Two years ago Laquan McDonald lost his life tragically and unnecessarily," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "His death was a wake-up call for our city on an issue that has challenged the city for decades, and brought a renewed commitment to a public conversation about policing and community relations. But more than just breaking from the past, we will continue working together across the city to build a brighter future by restoring trust between residents and our officers, and implementing the reforms necessary to prevent this from happening again.”

    More than 600 people have said on Facebook they plan to attend the Thursday evening event.