Laquan McDonald Police Shooting Footage Released: Celebrities React With Outrage

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images

A judge ordered on Tuesday, Nov. 24, that the city of Chicago release the dashboard-camera video of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, and the footage revealed that the 17-year-old was shot 16 times before his death. The startling revelation prompted reactions from celebrities like Kerry Washington, Isaiah Washington, and Ava DuVernay.

Hours before the tape was released, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with the first-degree murder of McDonald. Cook County State attorney Anita Alvarez discussed her decision to press charges against Van Dyke with reporters. “I felt compelled in the interest of public safety to announce these state charges today,” Alvarez noted, adding that the footage will “no doubt will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans.”

Isaiah Washington
Isaiah Washington Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

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The video, acquired by The New York Times on Tuesday, shows the teen running down the street and walking away once police start to pursue him. Then, an officer opens fire, and McDonald spirals, later falling to the ground. He makes little movement, then is shot several more times while down.

After the footage was released to the public, hundreds of protesters flooded the streets of Chicago that evening, and celebrities took to social media to express their outrage over the incident.

Director Spike Lee told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night that he was “glad” that the video was released. “This is democracy, and sometimes I don’t think we can pick and choose what America can see,” he said on The Late Show.

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