A judge ordered the city to release that disturbing video by Wednesday. However, sources leaked a shorter version to ABC7 Chicago Eyewitness News on Tuesday morning, prompting Chicago police to move up the scheduled release.
In light of public safety, ABC7 Chicago Eyewitness News did not air the video until it was officially released and opted only to show part of it during the early news shows.
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Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez described the video following a court appearance by the Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with McDonald's murder.
McDonald's family did not want the video released, but a freelance journalist filed a Freedom of Information Act request. The family released a statement, "This is a difficult time for us. As we have said in the past, while we would prefer that the video not be released we understand that a court has ordered otherwise. . . "
Concerned the release of such a video could lead to civil unrest, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called for peaceful protests, as did McDonald's family.
"People have a right to be angry. People have a right to protest. People have a right to free speech. They do not have right to commit criminal acts," Supt. McCarthy said.
"Will we use this episode and this moment to build bridges that bring us together as a city or will we allow it to become a way that erects barriers that tear us apart as a city?" Mayor Emanuel said.
"We ask for calm in Chicago. No one understands the anger more than us but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. Don't resort to violence in Laquan's name. Let his legacy be better than that," McDonald's family said.