Over a year since 17-year-old Laquan McDonald died after being shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, a Burger King manager testified before a Grand Jury to say that a Burger King surveillance video depicting the teen’s final moments on earth was tampered with by police officials immediately following the shooting. That Burger King manager has accused a Chicago police detective accompanied by a technician who viewed the surveillance video following McDonald’s shooting of erasing about 86 minutes of the video that included the time frame that the teen was being chased and shot by police, according to a November 28 report from ABC News.
McDonald was killed on October 24, 2014. It was only last week that a police dashcam video was released depicting police chasing McDonald and ultimately showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke has since been charged with the teen’s first-degree murder.
The Burger King video and the video recorder are now in the hands of the FBI. In separate press conferences held last week, Cook County’s State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy both said that they have no hard forensic evidence proving that the Burger King video was tampered with and that the video recording system simply had some apparent technical difficulties around the time of McDonald’s shooting, according to USA Today.
The Burger King is about 50 yards away from the location where McDonald died from Van Dyke’s 16 gunshots. Minutes after the teen was shot, Darshane said that Chicago police came into his establishment demanding to see his surveillance video. ABC News quoted the Burger King manager as saying “I was just trying to help the police with their investigation. I didn’t know they were going to delete it.”
The recent release of the police dashcam video showing McDonald being shot has sparked protests throughout Chicago with calls for Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s resignation. After U.S. President Barack Obama saw the dashcam video, CNN quoted the president as saying that he was “deeply disturbed” by what he saw. For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.