Before You Watch
On November 24, 2015, just hours after Cook County, Illinois announced it would be making nearly unprecedented murder charges against the white police officer who gunned down 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, Chicago Police released the dash cam video of his horrifying death. The video had been taken at the time of the incident, over a year prior, in October 2014.
It was only released under court orders and several months after the City paid a preemptive $5 million settlement with the family, presumably to avoid a lawsuit. Though his family and many others had requested it as early as hours after the shooting.
On it Laquan can be seen skip-walking by and then away from the officers. He made no threatening, elusive or aggressive gestures when, six seconds after getting out of his squad and ten feet away from Laquan, the officer fired at him, without warning.
As Laquon lay motionless the officer continuing firing more than a dozen rounds at him. When he stopped to reload, just 15 seconds later, his partner urged him to cease firing.
Due to the stunning brutality displayed by the video, members of the Chicago-based Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) shared 'A Love Letter to Black People' via videos entitled #BeforeYouWatch. You can see all, above.
BYP100 is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a collective focused on transformative leadership development, non-violent direct action organizing, advocacy and education.
I really want you to be calm with yourself and check in with yourself and be gentle with yourself.
Whether you watch it or not, I want you to know that our lives are worth more than this system would have you believe.
Respond however you see fit. It is our duty to fight for freedom. We have nothing to lose but our chains.
People will try to tell you that this is one b bad decision by one bad officer in an isolated incident. But we know better.