Prosecutors investigate fatal shooting by Chicago police

AP News
Posted: Apr 14, 2015 9:16 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal and county prosecutors are investigating the October fatal shooting by a Chicago police officer of a teenager who authorities say was wielding a knife, and the city says it will pay his family $5 million to preclude any legal action.

The Chicago City Council's Finance Committee said Monday that it agreed to settle with the family of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times. Chicago Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton recommended the settlement and told reporters that dashboard camera footage of the Oct. 20 shooting prompted the city's decision to settle with the family before a lawsuit was filed.

The entire council is expected to vote on the settlement Wednesday.

"We consider his case like we consider every case based on all the evidence, all the facts, and it included the video, yes," Patton said. "Here that was an important part of the evidence."

Attorney Mike Robbins, who represents McDonald's family, told WBBM-AM Chicago that a "fair and prompt resolution" was reached with the city without the necessity of litigation.

"We think the city did the right thing here," he said.

A spokesman for Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the unidentified officer who shot McDonald has been stripped of his police powers and put on paid desk duty.

Patton noted several officers followed McDonald for blocks and didn't fire their weapons. He said McDonald was ordered to drop the knife, but kept walking away from police.

The officer who shot McDonald was in a squad car that arrived later to back up the first officers to respond, Patton said. The partner of the officer who fired "also got out of the police car with guns drawn but did not shoot," Patton said.

An autopsy found McDonald had wounds to his chest, neck, back, arms and right leg.

Also Monday, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon confirmed the joint investigation along with FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Holley and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

The joint investigation is being led by the Chicago office of the FBI in coordination with the Independent Police Review Authority, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.