tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 24, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
one another. most of all, now is time to build a lasting partnership for peace. we have a great deal of work ahead of us as a city. all of us will be judged by our actions and i call on all of us to look within it inside ourselves, to see this moment as a potential to do something that we talked about and discussed, but for reasons that have not actually endeavored to journey. i want to work together as a city to be the city that we can be. there will be moments of challenge, there'll be moments that question, but i actually believe in the character of the people that make up this city and now we must work together to bring the peace and
understanding and the bridges of understanding together. and with that, obviously, we'll take some questions. [ inaudible question ] mark, if i could, i don't think -- you didn't say it explicitly, but let me say it implicitly in the question. we have been doing that, but we have to dedicate ourself, because there's no doubt there's a gulf that exists and we have to continue to work with that. [ inaudible question ] >> would you like to take that? >> so at the end of the day,
we're obviously always planning for the worst-case scenario and expecting the best. and in this case, we're in that same position. this is an incident that happened in october of 2014. you know, i could spout statistics that are meaningless at this point about how much better we're doing at police shootings, regarding policy and supervision and discipline. but at the end of the day, we knew this day was coming, and, you know, honestly, it would have, in my book, been better if it happened after whatever happens with the prosecution, but you know, i'm not the attorney. so it is what it is. so we've been prepared for this day to come for quite some time. i'm incredibly confident in the professionalism of my department and i'm incredibly confident in our community. and, you know, just -- i'll tell you, as i stood here and listened to the mayor, i couldn't help but be struck by my first comment, which is anytime i stand at this podium with this many people, there's credit to go around.
but that's not why we're here today. we're here, united, together, and i just can't give enough credit to the individuals who are standing up here. these men and women who are willing to stand up here right now in this time of potential crisis in the city of chicago. so i think we're in a totally different place than a lot of people are trying to put us into, quite frankly. we're proposed. we've been laying this groundwork for a long time and the things that we're doing in this department, and i think the community sees that and i'm really pleased about that. >> i don't know -- i know -- i think i'm hearing what you said, the state's attorney said. look, my point -- my statement today speaks to where i want to see us go as a city and what i think, there is a moment here, and moments like this are judgments. and that's what i mean. they're not just judgments -- jason van dyke will go to court. there will be a judgment, and he'll be held accountable for his actions. there's also a judgment for all
of us this is not just -- at one level, this is all about him individually, but we as a city must also do certain things. as it relates to public safety, it is also -- is it a role of police officers? yes. is it a role of the religious and community leaders? yes. is it a role for the mayor and all elected officials? yes. all of us who are stakeholders who have positions that have responsibility to the public. so, do i think that the police are going to do their job? i'm absolutely confident that's going to happen. but my point is, as it relates to safety, there's this moment in time, but there's also after this. and i want us to think about that future and start building that future that i think we have today. mike? [ inaudible question ]
>> yeah, it's absolutely not true. and i think the state's attorney addressed that today. there were apparently technical difficulties, but in no way, shape, or form is there any evidence that anything was tampered with. and i think she covered that. [ inaudible question ] i think so, mike, but i want you to realize something that the chicago police department is no longer investigating this incident, because we have independent civilian oversight. so it went from chicago pd drd ipra and to the u.s. attorney. so i don't have access to some of the details you're asking me, quite frankly. i had a preliminary briefing when the incident first happened on every police-related shooting and that's pretty much the limit of my knowledge of the investigation. [ inaudible question ]
>> that's a great question, craig, and if someone can tell me, i'll take it in. but the way we've been handling it is through policy, supervision, and training, right? those seem to be the three biggies in policing, where we have success. and through policy, change in policy, as far as when we can shoot and when we can't shoot, through training, we added a training cycle for all of our officers more than four years ago when i got here. and supervision and ensuring that those policies are being followed through on. we've been able to have significant success in reducing our shootings. it doesn't fix what happened here today. and at the end of the day, it's always going to be the judgment in the eyes of that officer, which is why i said that the officer in this case is going to have to account for his actions. i can't do it. and nobody else can. only he can. so that's -- at the end of the day, where we are. [ inaudible question ]
>> we're going to put it out. the staff will put it out, okay. >> have you seen the video yourself? >> i'm going to see it when becomes public like everybody else. [ inaudible question ] >> do you want to -- >> yeah. you know, that's a great question, mark. what i can address is the changes we've made to our investigatory process, particularly in the world of internal affairs. as you know, force complaints go to an outside civilian oversight department. but here in the chicago police department, we've expanded the size of our internal affairs
division. we've given them geographical accountability, which is a word you keep hearing over and over again. and i'm really proud of some of the personnel changes, putting eddie welch in charge of internal affairs, who is a detective background investigator. and we took the best investigator -- one of the best -- i should say the best, because i'm not giving other people credit -- one of the best investigators in the chicago police department and put him as a commander in the internal affairs division. all of those are going to help us -- let me -- >> the question -- >> mark, let me -- >> i understand -- >> but i can give you the details on it and he can follow up. the other thing is, where the release of the data regarding our complaints, mark, we have work to do. there's noways about it. but some of those issues with the union contract are the thing people understand. we don't have at-will employees
and we can't just fire them the way people expect. >> the police department always says, there's an ongoing investigation -- on going investigation in this case -- when it comes to a misconduct case, you -- found guilty, not found guilty -- >> let me speak to two to three things just in general, okay? there's always work to improve in this sense, because trust is the two-way street. and people having a sense that nobody's being protected, just because of their title or their position and nobody's being prosecuted because they don't have a title or a position. for a long time, and in fact, the former attorney general came in to look at what chicago's doing, because we had two civilian oversight board. one of them's here, scott's also here, that are different than any other city. we also have the internal review
that goes on here. do we need to make it constantly hard questions. in fact, two years ago, we started that process of asking some hard questions. do we have all the safeguards in place to constantly be reviewing and demanding professionalism and doing it in a way that gives also the public confidence of what happens in the police department. is it perfect? nothing's ever perfect. do we have the spirit and the desire and constantly to find ways to improve it and make it transparent so people believe people will be held accountable for their actions? that is what exists. [ inaudible question ] >> there was no audio with the tape that i saw -- tape? with the video i saw. and i don't think that audio does exist.
[ inaudible question ] there's supposed to be and it's supposed to happen in a couple of different instances and this is one of the things we're working on. sometimes we have technical difficulties. sometimes officers need to be disciplined if they don't turn it on at the right circumstances, which is why we're working out all the details on our body cam project as we speak, and we'll be expanding that shortly. [ inaudible question ] no, no, no, there was no audio to my knowledge with any of the video that was taken -- >> was it turned off? >> no, it didn't exist. >> you're going to get the video -- >> mr. mayor, a question -- [ inaudible ] >> you know what, i'll talk about a culture thing in the
chicago police department, since i got here, i've been talking about changing the culture of the chicago police department. in a positive fashion. there are some very good things about the chicago police department that i found when i got here. we're building on those and we're trying to revamp anything that's negative. and quite frankly, you're almost forcing me to give you the data on our police shootings over the last four years that we've been here. they're down almost 70%. that's really significant. and we did it through policy, training, and supervision. so that's a work in progress. and we're going to continue to pursue excellence in the chicago police department, in all aspects, whether it's in internal investigations, or whether it's in the way we treat people on the street, or whether it's in reducing crime. >> let me just -- let me add -- >> let me add one word to what the superintendent just said. it's especially true given
today, anybody who is there to uphold the law cannot act like they're above the law. and both a principle that is used to make sure it reflects the culture in the police department. and i want to say one thing, there are men and women both in leadership positions and rank and file who follow and live by that principle every day. jason van dyke does not represent the police department. i can give you chapter and verse of people who are doing things beyond what their quote/unquote their job description is, who every day go out, not just to protect, but also to serve. so when it comes to culture, i also believe it's a work in progress and you're never at just a point. there are officers every day, i've seen it in little league teams, i've seen it in mentoring programs. officers don't just wear -- are not just officers when they're wearing the uniform, they're there to serve a community and
part of a community and act like that every day. do we have to make changes? absolutely. it's always working towards a culture that understands that you're accountable, it's an honor to serve the public, and because you serve the public, you're not above the law, but you actually are there and will be held accountable everybody else, and not just like everybody else, but to a higher standard. [ inaudible question ] >> like others who saw it described to them, they have a reaction, and i was reacting to what i saw described and that's why i say there's a moral judgment described with this. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think the most important thing they talked about is also stakeholders. and what i would say, and i addressed that in the meeting and i addressed a series of questions. mr. van dyke does not speak to the police department.
we have a leader that is doing a hard job every day and a lot of people, throughout the department, doing it very well. and the judgment will be about mr. van dyke's action. but i appreciate what they've asked. they made their point, and i've also expressed my view on that. hold on, bill, i want to give people a chance. go ahead. no, actually, we're not. we're going to be addressing move forward with the resources that we have, until such time that we think that we don't have that capability. so, we are not predicting doom and gloom. we are predicting protests, which is something that we do two or three times a day in the city of chicago, quite frankly. so until such time as we need to ramp up some resources, we're not doing it. >> -- watching this press conference, of course, out of chicago. you saw chicago mayor rahm
emanuel there as well as the chicago police superintendent, garry mccarthy, talking about this case, as we've been talking about all day. and the video that is at the center of it, here with us on set, msnbc chief legal correspondent, ari melber, msnbc national correspondent, joy reid. one quick note to our viewers, as well. we were all watching this press conference. it was not your audio or your television that was playing tricks on you. we were not getting on our feed either, the questions from the reporters, which made it a little tough as we were trying to guess at different things they're saying. but one thing that was interesting, ari, i saw your ears perk up on this, we're all waiting on when this video will be released. we're told it's tomorrow, could come tonight. it sounded as if someone asked mayor rahm emanuel whether or not he had seen the video or when he had seen it, and he said, i'll see it when it becomes public like everyone else. is that surprising? >> yes and no. you've had instances like the incident of john crawford iii,
the walmart shooting that took place in ohio where you had officials saying they were not viewing the video or reluctant to have the families view the full video. i think off real sense among a lot of public officials, at least in their minds, the presence of video exacerbates the tensions around these issues. it is surprising to me they wouldn't want to see it. i think as a public official, if it were me, would i want the see the video in advance, absolutely, so i know what's there and know what the public is going to expect. uh be given the way these incidents typically unfold, i'm not that surprised, i have to say. >> i think it's remarkable. i think it's probably irresponsible, at this point, for the mayor to say that he hasn't reviewed the video that is the subject of this first-degree murder indictment today, as well as a subject of great concern around the city of chicago. it's hard to come up with a substantiative or public safety reason that he would be willfully ignorant at this point. i mean, that's just -- that's just a fact. it is weird. i can't -- there's no reason to be overly diplomatic about it. it's an odd choice for him to
make and announce. it's also possible with public officials that they sometimes make claims that aren't fully true. that he feels he has some understanding of the contents of the video that go deeper than simply a written description from public materials, and thus he feels that he essentially knows what's on it. but we just heard them emphasize civilian oversight of the police. that's an important program. there are certain programs in chicago and they have a right to emphasize on an essential basis that this officer's conduct as alleged by the prosecutor today does not comport with what most officers are doing. but for civilian oversight to be meaningful, most would suspect the civilians involved to take a substantiative approach, including reviewing evidence. again, why are we even here? this is over a year ago. >> over a year ago, a 17-year-old, laquan mcdonald, shot in october of 2014. the officer accused of shooting him turning himself in this morning. and we learned a lot from the prosecutor this morning. in advance of this video being released, one of the most shocking bits of information for
a lot of people was how this all unfolded and in such a short period of time. basically about 30 seconds, shot multiple times, and then there was also a report that then the officer had started to reload his gun and another officer said, hold on. >> and we do know just from the stills that we've seen released by a couple of local news stations, who for some reason seem to have the video, that laquan mcdonald was turned away from the officers. he actually had his back to the officers at the same time that the shooting took place. we do know that match. we know there were 16 shots that were fired by this officer. and as he said, he was attempting to reload. he had just gotten to the scene, was there less than 30 seconds before jumping out of his car and shooting this young man. the facts as we know them make it sound as if the video is going to be extremely troubling. we know that's the case. the delay, i'm not sure about. obviously, a judge has forced this into the public. city officials did not want to release the video, very reluctant to do so, and are being made to do so. >> i'm being told we should have that video here at msnbc within the hour.
obviously, we want to review it before we put it -- we will not be ouautomatically putting it o television for obvious reasons. but one thing that's interesting, mayor rahm emanuel referencing the mcdonald family in terms of the video and saying, i want to reiterate what the family has said, calling for calm and calling for people not to protest in the wake of this video. >> i think what we just saw in chicago here is a public safety-oriented press conference from a mayor and a police chief there that are very concerned that the reaction to the video could involve some unrest and they have seen incidents in other cities where that's been the result and that's something that no one wants and no public official would want. having said that, there is an open governing question here, i'm sure it will be debated around chicago around the thanksgiving dinner table over whether this was the right approach. because they essentially said, this video was important enough, according to their local prosecutor, to justify a first-degree murder charge against an officer, which hasn't happened in decades. but wasn't important enough for the mayor to review, and thus wasn't really discussible in any
deep way in this public accountable. and so, there will be some who say this was appropriate because they want to get people ready for a peaceful response to this, which is what everyone hopes for. i'm certain there will be others who say, the mayor may have missed an opportunity to address what so many people are concerned about, which is the video itself and why it was delayed. as of two weeks ago, the mayor was still advocating it should not be released. and we heard from a prosecutor today, she said the only reason she made this announcement today is because of judges forcing the release of a video. not all videos should come out automatically. there are some complexities to this and officers do have justified a wider berth for using force than regular citizens. so a video that might make one person look bad might not automatically incriminate an officer. but there are a lot of questions that go beyond public safety. i'm not sure their all covered. >> we'll take a short break and we'll be right back with more on msnbc. ari melber, joy reid will stay with us for that. we'll be right back. when heartburn hits
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if you're just joining us here on msnbc, we have just finished listening to a press conference out of the city of chicago, with mayor rahm emanuel, also, chicago police superintendent, garry mccarthy, and that centers around what has been a large topic of discussion for us here all day long. and this is the murder charges against officer jason van dyke, who turned himself in this morning. this is in response to an event from october of last year, when laquan mcdonald was shot the 16 times in less than 30 seconds. so we're learning more about that today and throughout this case, throughout this past year, there's been the question of this video that exists of the incident. and when it would be released.
so the day started with the prosecutor coming out this morning, talking about it and talking about the fact that she was there discussing the case and the video, because she wanted to basically get ahead of the video being released tomorrow. and that video is now being released tonight. we should have it here at msnbc shortly. we will review it before i'm just throwing it on the air, so please know that at home. but there have been so many developments and so much discussion today about this case. joy, what has stood out to you in what we've heard, especially tonight? >> besides the fact that we do have this sort of agonizing delay in releasing the information that is at the core of the case, the video, just the facts of the case themselves obviously are shocking. this is not a case that we've seen a lot of national coverage on, although it happened last year, but 16 shots fired at a young man, a teenager, shot in the back, shot that many times, that kind of overkill, but i think what you do see, unfortunately, at this point, is something of a pattern in the way that these cases unfold. you see a tremendous agonizing
reluctance on the part of public officials to prosecute police officers. and you see long, drawn-out processes that typically do not end in a prosecution. the last time that chicago police officers were charged in -- in harming a civilian and killing a civilian was in 1980. so it's been a really, really long time. it very rarely happens. what you see are these agonizing processes where any videotape involved is withheld from the public as long as possible, even withheld from the family. i cited the john crawford case where the maple had to go to court to practically demand that they see the video. so what you're seeing are these agonizing processes that city officials really donate want to do this, and their hands are forced by a judge, you see the process remain agonizing in just getting the basic information to the public. >> forced by a judge, given where we are today, for example, versus 1980 or even five years, the public and the families are able to get out there and to make their case in a much different way than they have been.
even in just the last few years. a lot of that due to social media. how much has that impacted the way that these cases do play out? >> normally, i would have to sit here and say to you, well, erica, we don't know and we can't speculate and be super careful. this isn't one of those days. because we just heard from a prosecutor today that her timing was affected by the public release of the video. some will give her points for candor. others will say, as a prosecutor, you have to be willing to withstand public criticism and stick to your timeline. she admitted to it, my hand is being forced by the public release. and we heard mayor emanuel and other public officials reference that as well. so we know in this case at least, it was a huge pressure. any prosecutor will tell you, prosecution is not about crime. it's about evidence. there's a lot of crime out there and you can't catch all of it. when you have enough evidence to charge and meet your duties, you do that. so this video is the evidence and the evidence now adays is
not just in a secret room that no one ever knows about. this was, as joy and i have been reporting on, something widely discussed in chicago, concerns from the police side saying, hey, we're worried this is going to unfairly prejudice juries and people thinking it might even be worse than it is. from the citizen and civil rights side, people saying they have a right to know. and a young free lance journalist suing. kate snowe and i interviewed him earlier today here on msnbc and he described what had he did. there is a more public rule for evidence these days. >> from that legal perspective, from everything you heard today, what does that tell you about that evidence that we are all waiting to see? >> i got to tell you, a first-degree murder charge against someone who is using an authorized weapon on duty is almost unheard of. you're talking about a soldier or an fbi agent or an officer. when they make mistakes, even deadly ones, it's almost never first-degree, because it's premeditated or depraved heart opinion which is to say,
second-degree or manslaughter is what you usually expect. first-degree murder, this is, again, as a legal matter, we haven't seen the video, we're going to see it potentially any moment. but as a legal matter, first-degree murder means the prosecutor believes this was premeditated like a contract killing or an assassination. that is what we're talking about. and that is highly rare. so we know that's what the prosecutor thinks. i do want to say one other thing legally. which is, prosecution is one side. so everything i've just cited from the prosecutor are those allegations to be proven in court. the officer's innocent until proven guilty and will make his defense. >> and we have ana statement from the attorney for officer jason van dyke who says the video by nature is two dimensional, so the problem is it distorts distances and distances and depth perception are important. the most critical problem is that the video does not depict what my client was seeing. it is not a video from the eyes of my client. so all about his perspective here, but as we talked about, joy, this all unfolded so quickly, other officers on
scene, this officer, as we've been told, pulls up, jumps out of the car, and within less than 30 seconds, this is all over. >> and we've seen that video is not always dispositive to ari's point. what we see when these videos come out, look at the tamir rice case, where you had about two seconds where an officer jumped out of a car and began firing at a 12-year-old boy who was carrying an air soft pistol. in this case, you had a full year in which the prosecutor has been unable to decide whether or not there is an indictment that should be brought in this case. you had videos like the john crawford case, where the video seems to show an instantaneous decision by police officers without a lot of thought going into it, and yet there, still you had no indictment. so i think what the public at this point wants is the facts to be laid out. there isn't a great deal of expectation among activists that i talk to that these cases will actually result in convictions, because as we've seen going back to rodney king, there are oftentimes when you have an officer involved, juries don't
necessarily see after prosecutors and defense attorneys are done with them, what the public saw. >> i will add to that, when you talk about that kind of defense, that we may see from the officer, hey, you've got to understand what was in his mind and what he was seeing, we see a prebuttal to that in the charging documents today, which i'll read from. they basically say, for approximately 13 of the seconds of the shooting, mcdonald was lying on the ground. so according to the video, the allegations being that the officer turns from his vantage point and was looking down. and finally of the eight or more officers on the scene, only the defendant fired his weapon. a view that there were a lot of other officers that had a different conclusion about the threat. that's what the prosecutor said today. >> we will continue this discussion after a short break on msnbc. ari melber and joy reid will be with us as well. stay with us. ♪
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the culture in the police department. and i want to say one thing. there are men and women both in leadership positions and rank and file who follow and live by that principle every day. jason van dyke does not represent the police department. >> chicago mayor rahm emanuel there, just moments ago, talking about a city police officer's first-degree murder charge. again, this -- a lot of this, these charges, this press conference today, related to a video which has just been released. we are working here to download that dash cam video in the case. i got to tell you, we've got some spinning wheels on our screen, as we try to download it here. this, apparently, shows the shooting of teenager laquan mcdonald, 17 years old, shot 16 times. we're going to hope to get that video and share it with you soon. meantime, we want to let you know, we're also watching another story. crowds in a separate american city, protesting a separate police-involved shooting death of a different man. this is the scene from minneapolis. we'll talk about the search for the shooting suspects that
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do you like nuts? joining us, welcome back to msnbc live, we are covering this developing story out of chicago. where video in the laquan mcdonald case has just been released. we have it here in at msnbc. i want to warn you before you see this, it is graphic and maybe disturbing. >> we stopped the video there, for obvious reasons. with us here in the studio, msnbc chief legal correspondent, ari melber, msnbc national correspondent, joy reid. you both have been covering this story for some time. this all happened in october of last year, it has come up again
today, because the prosecutor came out today, talking about these first-degree murder charges for the officer in this case, officer jason van dyke. and that was because, as she said, very clearly, this video was set to be released tomorrow. it was released tonight. set the scene for us. now that we have seen this video -- >> this portion, yeah. >> this portion of the video, what's your first reaction after seeing this, based on everything we've heard throughout the day? >> i want to be clear, of course, it is graphic, and that's why msnbc is only showing that portion right now. i did watch in the newsroom, we just watched a larger chunk of the context. legally, the biggest takeaway of that video is how completely swiftly it turns from the approach of this suspect to a very rapidfire shooting. i want to be clear for our viewers, and i know it is difficult for some to watch, but what we just showed, what you just aired was, the approach and the very quick beginning of shooting at an individual who was holding, reportedly, a small handheld knife, but was not
advancing on the officer, nor holding any other kind of immediate distant-range weapon, and then what we didn't show was then, what i just watched was a sequence of bullet after bullet after bullet going into mcdonald. what jumps out about the video, it is very fast, very sudden, and it is a completely overwhelming use of force. we know a prosecutor in chicago today finding that use of force was first-degree murder. that's what they want to allege in court. >> and the additional shots the that ari's describing happen when laquan mcdonald is on the ground, and you still see this mist, the smoke that you know is bullets going into him, while he's already down. you can also visibly see the other officers as the dash cam video shows the officer driving up to the place where laquan mcdonald is clearly walking away from where the officers are. he's not advancing toward them, he's clearly walking away. what's interesting, and i think interesting is probably not the right word, in cases like this that look so clear when you look
at the video, that it does take a year to come to the conclusion that there was something extra legal or not legal about this shooting. these cases take incredibly long when i think to the sort of layman's perspective, you just see what we just watched, and you wonder why it takes that long to figure it out. >> you should point out those live pictures you were seeing earlier, those are protests in the streets of chicago. those were live pictures. at this press conference that wrapped up probably not even 20 minutes ago, we see these live pictures now. mayor rahm emanuel, there was a lot of concern over the release of this video, now that we have seen part of it, for obvious reasons. but rahm emanuel saying the mcdonald family, the family of the victim, laquan mcdonald, who was just 17, asking for calm in his words, and asking that they let there be calm, that his legacy is better than that. these appear peaceful from what we see. a number of people out, not surprising. >> but can i make a quick comment on this, if i could. you know, yes, everybody wants
there to be calm. let's remember, the reason why there were protests in the cases like eric garner's case and the case that happened in ferguson in the michael brown case is not simply because the facts of the case became known, it was because the facts of the case did not result in what the protesters believed was justice for those dead young men. in this case, we have the police officer has been charged with first-degree murder. the protests are about the content of the case, not about any piece of video. so i think it is a bit presumptuous and a bit insulting to the community to presume that visually seeing what people had already described to them, what people already knew happened, this young man died a year ago october. it was known that he was shot 16 times, it was known that he was dead. it is he was killed by a police officer. so the presumption that seeing the videotape will spark fits of
rioting is not a safe assumption. but the city of chicago has deployed the full panoply of police presence in the city. but i don't think necessarily the pacts in this case would lead to some sort of riot. >> what about the timeline, too? so there's also the fact that, yes, many things were known, as you just pointed out, joy, but the frustration for a lot of people, which was also pointed out, is sometimes it takes a very, very long time to even get to this point where charges are filed. >> so having just reviewed the video, that's the other important point here. there are times where you reviewed videos that are very disturbing, but they don't immediately give you a picture of what the legal charges would be. having just looked at that video, as a lawyer, that's not what the video says to me. having looked at the video, it looks like excessive force if the speed in this video, it's a dash cam video, so, what the chicago authorities have done just now in the last couple of minutes is release a large chunk from the dash cam, so you see the video of the night, driving
around, uneventful, and you see up to this police interaction, with laquan mcdonald. and what you see is the officer, one officer here, the one who's been indicted, jason van dyke, advancing on him, gun drawn, it appears another officer also advancing, but van dyke alone discharging his gun, multiple times, more even than what we've chosen to show on air at this point, and mcdonald falling to the ground, being on the ground, and what looks like continued shooting of him on the ground. i'm saying that from having viewed the video. and that's what the prosecutor a alleged today for the case. that most of the shots, 14 seconds of them occurred while mr. mcdonald was already on the ground. legally important, because you don't pose a lot of a threat if you are lying on the ground and getting hit with more and more bullets and you're not holding a gun to begin with. so that in video then raises the legal question that i think you've posed. if you can view that a year ago, what else do investigators do. were they doing something else beyond what was necessary to charge that took longer?
what was that? those are the kind of questions, frankly, somewhat kind of sophisticated questions, but ones that the citizens of chicago may be asking. >> and they're asking -- >> if you have this video, what took so long? and that's no to pre-judge, as i've said in my reporting throughout the day. that's not to pre-judge a trial and a defense, but does this video provide support for charges? yes. >> and remind us, as well, too, what it means to get to this charge of murder? >> in this case, for a first-degree murder, it means that the killing was willful, intentional, and either premeditated or a depraved heart. in this case, they're basically making the intentional argument. the prosecutor told us, there wasn't justification for the initial shooting and then it went on and continued in a way that looked like deliberately shooting to kill. from a prosecutor's perspective, they're saying, hey, we met our burden, we believe we can win beyond a reasonable doubt. but the standard you actually need to indict at this stage is far lower. so having watched this video now, and people will watch it and make sense of it on their own and some people will choose
not to watch it, because they feel they can understand the facts without actually seeing the death on camera, the killing on camera. but people will have to make up their own minds about what do we learn about the system and are there problems here. mayor emanuel just said, he hadn't watched the video, but he's open to working on reforms and problems. >> without videotape, without video evidence, what does the civilian oversight actually mean? if it takes a year to come to this conclusion, and again, we're not in a court o of law, we're not going to hear the defendant's case, but if it comes this long to come to the conclusion that there was even a crime committed, but for the videotape, a lot of people were wondering, would anything be done in a case like this and would this shooting have ever resulted in charges at all? >> it's a great question and a great point and we'll continue to talk about this after we take a quick break. stay with us. you're watching msnbc live. nope, you can redeem your cashback for any amount, any time. that's great. yeah, you can use it for a statement credit or even get the cash. nice. i could use that extra cash for a last-minute gift.
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we are back now with our continuing coverage to have this breaking news. the release of the video showing a shooting, the shooting of a chicago teenager. the officer involved now facing a first-degree murder charge. we are going to show you this video again. just a reminder, it has just come into msnbc, just in the last 20 minutes or so. it is graphic. we want to warn you, before we do play it for you.
the video is obviously stopped there for obvious reasons. chris hayes is with us now. you have covered this extensively, in fact, all the way back in early february, you filed a request for this video. >> yeah, so we started covering this back in january, february, we filed a request. that request was denied for the city of chicago, citing the fact that it would unduly taint the due process for the officer involved. we filed an appeal. that appeal was rejected. meanwhile, another independent journalist in chicago started this litigation process which led to it being released. i think one thing that's important to set the context here is that this was not -- mike brown, that people are very familiar with in ferguson, was a very high-profile case from the moment it happened. he was shot and people were tweeting about it within minutes. there was a crowd that assembled that day. it was a big, on-the-front-burner case from the beginning. laquan mcdonald was not. there were a few hundred words about a shooting in the "sun-times" and that was about
it. the police benevolent union quoting in that piece that he lunged a police officer and a single shot was fired. it was on the later that a journalist and a few lawyers began poking around, and the autopsy report, they got their hands on, which said 16 shots -- >> which is a big difference. >> which is a big difference, were fired into the young man. that's when people started looking at this case. then the city fought tooth and nail to keep the video under wraps, right, during this entire time, even as word leaked out about the video. then the city took the extraordinary step of passing through the city council a $5 million civil settlement with the family before a lawsuit had ever been filed. and so in the 400 days since laquan mcdonald was killed, there have been a variety of actions taken by the police and by the city, that many have interpreted in chicago as them essentially trying to sweep this under the rug and keep it out of the public eye, and that's fueling some of the kind of mistrust that is being addressed
in the way the city is handling this tonight. >> and you talk about, in the way the city is handling this, that goes back to the conversation we were just having about joy and with ari, about mayor rahm emanuel being one of them, look, we just want to remind you all that laquan mcdonnell's family is calling for calm tonight, to let miss legacy be anything that would not be calm, for lack of a better term, and reiterating that. and we did have some pictures earlier, which were gatherings on the street. we are now told by the mayor's office that those are apparently people gathering for a tree lighting in the city of chicago. so we're seeing that. it is not surprising to see people -- >> the tree lighting was scheduled for tonight. >> but it is not surprising, regardless, to see people out on the streets and it is not necessarily a protest if people are outside. but not surprising that people may want to talk about it. >> and let's be clear, there has been a lot of protests against the chicago police department, before this all happened. >> right. >> there's a young woman who was shot and killed by an off-duty officer. that off-duty officer was
charged with involuntary manslaughter and acquitted. well, in the last 48 hours, two things have happened. the state's attorney has come forward to say we are charging the shooter in this case, and the police superintendent saying, and we think the guy who shot aboyd should be fired. people in chicago are viewing this through the prism of, this is a police department and an administration that are essentially trying to get on the right side and ahead of the reaction to this video, but there has been a long history in chicago, and particularly under this mayor, of a lot of frustration with that police department. and that's the kind of background content. >> i want to point out. we have an statement for the officer, jason van dyke, who turned himself in this morning. and it specifically references the video. so the attorney, dan herbert saying, the video by nature is two dimensional. the problem is it distorts distances and distances and depth perception are important. the most critical problem is that the video does not depict what my client is saying. it is not a video from the eyes of my client. this is, of course, is dashboard
camera video. >> it's not body camera video from the perspective of officer van dyk. and if you're officer van dyke's attorney, that's precisely the argument you're going to make. and as said today, he is facing first-degree murder charges and that is something that is going to come before, presumably, if he doesn't plea, a jury, to be determined. there's other officers who were on the scene, so it's not like he was alone. >> and multiple officers. >> multiple officers. >> keep in mind, this started off as a phone call, if i'm not mistaken, about a kid walking around slashing tires. and a bunch of officers show up and you see him in that video. you know, you don't know the state of mind of this young man, but you could tell he's not in his right mind. i mean, he's walking down the middle of the street. he does not appear to lunge towards the officer in any discernible way, although, obviously, i think officer van dyke will make the argument, he perceived that to be the case. but this was a young man who died with barely a whisper, from
anyone. and whose death many people feel in chicago, fear, would have been dust in the wind, if it hadn't been for outside groups banging on the door to get the autopsy released and now the video released. >> we've also heard, of course, we want to make sure we put all the information out there, that he was holding a knife -- >> and it's fairly clear that there's something in his hand. >> -- in that video. and we also heard this morning from the prosecutor, you know, really going through sort of the ticktock here of how things happened, that this officer, jason van dyke came upon the scene, as you mentioned, other officers were there, but in the span of 14 to 15 seconds, 16 shots were fired. and for 13 of those seconds, this young man was on the ground. >> and i think the full version of the video, what's most upsetting is that you see, essentially, the impact of the bullets hitting what is a corpse on the ground and the plumes of smoke coming off of it. and we knew that, because we talked to attorneys who had seen that video six months ago on my show. the facts of this have been
clear. you've been getting off-the-record police officers telling reporters, it's bad, it's bad, for months now. >> which is interesting when you hear that. i want to let you know, we have another piece of video now, and as i understand it, this is a different officer, not officer van dyke, apparently kicking the knife away from mr. mcdonald. let's take a look at this. >> so what happens in the video, as you see from the dash is two officers get out of an suv. there's one suv in front of them. laquan mcdonald appears to walk in the opposite direction of that first suv, he then passes the second suv, which has officer van dyke and his partner. officer van dyke is the one who appears -- who fires all 16 shots. the bulk of which happened when laquan mcdonald was on the ground. and afterwards, it is, i believe, his partner, although i think it's a little unclear whether it's his partner or not, frankly, comes and kicks the knife.
and then that body lays in the street there, as a variety of officers converge on the scene. >> remind us again, how this all happened. because as you mentioned, this was a small article in the "sun-times," just, you know, 200 or 300 words, but then there were a few people who thought, maybe there's something more to this case? >> yes. that's right. there are people who have spent a lot of time suing, frankly, the chicago police department. one of them at a clinic in the university of chicago. a journalist named jamie calvin, who has written a lot about the chicago police department. i believe it was the two of them, if i'm not mane who filed a foia to get the autopsy report. it was that that cracked open the case. >> in the initial account and in the "sun-times," there is no official word from the chicago police department or anyone else. there is a quote from the police benevolence union, which is the officers' union, saying he lu e lunglung lunged towards the officer and the officer fired a shot. it's when they go and foia the
autopsy and find there's 16 shots, including a shot to the back, because he gets spun around after the impact of one of the first shots, that people start saying, wait a second, there's something that doesn't match here between what we've been told about what happened and what the medical examiner has found about the circumstances of this young man's death. >> there is so much to cover in a day that has really been dominated in many ways by this story, and a story, as you pointed out, chris, you have been following for months. it happened in october of last year, but much of the country just learning about it now. >> and people -- i think part of the frustration that some people have expressed in chicago is about that timeline. and that's something i think the state's attorney addressed today and you'll see officials, i think, make their cay for why this was done properly. >> so we will continue to cover not only this case, but obviously, the video being released here on msnbc. again, if you were just joining us, we were talking about this video, which involves laquan mcdonald, a 17-year-old who was killed last year in chicago. the officer involved in that shooting, officer jason van dyke
charged today with first-degree murder. he turned himself in this morning. we will continue to have more on this with msnbc's chris hayes throughout the evening. thanks for watching msnbc live. i'm erica hill. "hardball" starts right now. chicago's mayor calls for calm after the release of a videotape of a white police officer shooting and killing a black teenager. this is "hardball." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. breaking news tonight. chicago is bracing for protests after the release of a dash cam video footage that shows chicago officer jason van dyke shooting and killing 17-year-old laquan mcdonald in a deadly and disturbing confrontation last october. officer van dyke has now been charged with first-degree murder