Chicago is refusing to release the video of the shooting death of a 17-year-old black teen, who was shot by a police officer in October 2014, the Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday. Laquon McDonald was shot 16 times when he allegedly wielded a knife and refused to drop it when confronted by officers.
Police and the FBI are withholding the dash-cam video because it is "central to their investigation," Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly said Wednesday. Authorities said they were "confident this video will be released at the appropriate time when their investigation is complete," the AP reported.
However, videos of several high-profile confrontations involving police have been released amid pending investigations in the past. Some members of the Chicago City Council disagreed that releasing the video could spark violent protests.
"Regaining the trust of the community, particularly the black community, starts with honesty and hiding a potential execution is the kind of thing that destroys trust," Craig Futterman, a law professor at the University of Chicago, told the AP.
The FBI is leading a criminal investigation in the case, jointly with the Cook County state's attorney's office and the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police misconduct.
The incident came amid rising concerns over the use of excessive force by law enforcement officials in the past year. On Wednesday, the City Council's Finance Committee reached a settlement of $5 million with the victim’s family.
The officer, whose identity has not been revealed, was stripped of his police duty and put on desk work, but no decision has been made so far on whether he will face criminal charges in the case.