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Questions Surround Lack of Audio on New Footage of Laquan McDonald Shooting

Police released new dash-cam footage from four additional cars at the scene of the shooting, but the lack of audio on the videos has sparked fresh controversy.
Image via YouTube

Newly released dash-cam footage from four additional police cars present at the fatal shooting of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald by a white Chicago police officer has sparked fresh controversy over whether the video had been inadequately recorded or tampered with in the aftermath of the incident.

Like the first video that was released on Tuesday, more than a year after Officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times, all four additional tapes obtained by the Chicago Tribune inexplicably lack discernible audio.


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The lack of audio means it remains unclear whether officers made any comments before or after the shooting, or if they gave any commands to McDonald before Van Dyke opened fire. The new footage also doesn't provide any additional visual details, and doesn't show the actual shooting.

Chicago releases more footage showing shooting death of — Grasswire (@Grasswire)November 26, 2015

The release of the initial video on Tuesday sparked outrage and protests condemning police brutality and what activists describe is a deep-seated culture of racial bias within the city's police department.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has endorsed a "Black Friday" march, organized by civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, to protest McDonald's shooting. Protesters are demanding an internal investigation into an alleged cover-up of the October 20, 2014 incident.

"We have watched in anger and disappointment as the city has covered up police violence," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said.

The first tape of the shooting was released to the public under a court order just hours after Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. Police say that the sound was missing from the video due to an unspecified technical problem. According to the Chicago Tribune, the initial tape released on Tuesday contains the most complete visual record of the incident. All the other patrol cars were reportedly facing away from the action.

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The Tribune said that they were given no explanation as to why police only provided video for just five of the eight cop cars present at the scene.

The dash-cam video systems are supposed to automatically engage both audio and video whenever the vehicle's emergency lights are activated. The Tribune reported that the Chicago Police Department requires its officers to use in-car video if the vehicle is equipped with it.

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