Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday the city will no longer fight the release of a police dash-cam video depicting a Chicago police officer fatally shooting a man in the back as he ran from the police on the city’s South Side.
For more than a year, lawyers for Ronald Johnson III’s family have battled City Hall over the release of the video of Johnson’s shooting, which bore striking similarities to the killing of teenager Laquan McDonald by a different police officer eight days later. A Cook County judge is set to hear arguments Dec. 10 in a lawsuit the family filed seeking the video’s release under the state’s open records laws.
Just as it had in McDonald’s shooting, the city fought tooth and nail to keep the Johnson video from being made public, arguing in court filings as recently as Oct. 30 that releasing it could inflame the public and jeopardize the officer’s right to a fair trial if he was charged later, court records show.
Asked at an unrelated news conference Thursday if the city was going to drop its opposition to the video’s release, Emanuel told reporters, “Yeah, we will do that next week.”
Michael Oppenheimer, the attorney for Johnson’s family, said Thursday he had not yet been notified of the mayor’s comments.
The details about Johnson’s killing have emerged amid continued fallout over the handling of the McDonald case. After the dash-cam video of McDonald being shot 16 times was made public last week, daily protests have captured national attention and put increasing political pressure on Emanuel to make wholesale changes to the Police Department.