Missing Footage from Laquan McDonald Video: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

laquan mcdonald missing video

Surveillance video from Burger King, near where Laquan McDonald was shot by police, was deleted shortly after police viewed the video. (Getty)

In addition to the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald‘s shooting that was just released to the public, there was also video recorded from Burger King surveillance cameras that showed what happened leading up to the shooting. Nearly an hour-and-a-half of the video was deleted after police officers reviewed its contents. The video would have covered the time before and after McDonald was shot. Local attorneys say there is no evidence that the footage was tampered with and they’re not sure why it was deleted. Meanwhile, Burger King officials say all the equipment was working fine that night.

Here’s what you need to know.


1. The Security Camera Was Fewer Than 100 Yards from Where McDonald Was Shot

laquan mcdonald

Laquan McDonald (Family photo)

The security camera, part of Burger King’s outdoor surveillance, was located less than 100 yards from where Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by Jason Van Dyke, NBC Chicago reported. McDonald was just outside the camera’s range when he was actually shot, so the footage would have shown events leading up to the shooting but not the shooting itself. You can watch the dashcam video of the actual shooting here.


2. He Walked Through the Burger King Parking Lot, Followed By Police, Before He Was Shot

laquan mcdonald missing video

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on October 20, 2014. (Getty)

On the night that he was shot, McDonald walked through the Burger King parking lot, followed by police officers. The officers arrived after receiving a call about a man with a knife. The missing footage might have shed more light on what happened leading up to the shooting. The initial call that came to the police said McDonald was breaking into trucks and stealing radios near the Burger King. Another police unit responded first and said that McDonald had a knife and he popped a tire on their squad car. Dashcam footage showed McDonald jogging south past the Burger King and waving his right arm, while holding a knife, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Van Dyke shot McDonald six seconds after he left his squad car while McDonald was walking away from him. He shot McDonald 16 times in about 14 seconds and was reloading when another officer told him to hold his fire, The Chicago Tribune reported. Van Dyke’s lawyer said that he feared for his life. Witnesses said they never saw McDonald lunge at the officer or make threatening motions after he was on the ground.


3. About 86 Minutes of Footage Was Deleted, Which Included the Time When McDonald Was Shot

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 24: Mayor Rahm Emanuel (L) and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy hold a press conference to address the arrest of Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke on November 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Van Dyke has been charged with first degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on October 20, 2014 after responding to a call of a knife wielding man who had threatened the complainant and was attempting to break into vehicles in a trucking yard. Emanuel and McCarthy announced they were releasing police video of the shooting during the press conference. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (L) and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy hold a press conference to address the arrest of Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke for shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. (Getty)

Jay Darshane, a Chicago-area district manager for the local Burger King chain, said that four to five police officers came to him after the shooting and asked to see the footage. He gave them equipment and a password to access the surveillance videos. They left three hours later and the next day, Independent Police Review Authority arrived to watch the security footage. That’s when they discovered that 86 minutes were missing, NBC Chicago reported. The missing time was from 9:13 to 10:39 p.m. McDonald was shot around 9:50 p.m.

Darshane said that the cameras and video recorder were all working fine that night.


4. The Cook County State’s Attorney Said There Was No Evidence of Tampering

laquan mcdonald missing video

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the missing surveillance video in the Laquan McDonald case wasn’t tampered with. (Getty)

Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney, said that after forensic testing was done on the footage, there was no evidence that anyone had tampered with the video, NBC Chicago reported. However, Alvarez did not say who performed the forensic testing. The Independent Police Review Authority also said the same thing, after finding the footage was missing:

We have no credible evidence at this time that would cause us to believe CPD purged or erased any surveillance video.”


5. What Was on the Missing Video Remains a Mystery

What was on the Burger King footage remains a mystery. Dashcam video of the actual shooting was released to the public on Tuesday, November 24. McDonald was shot by police officer Jason Van Dyke 16 times on October 20, 2014. Van Dyke was indicted for first-degree murder on Tuesday. Hundreds of protesters gathered on Chicago streets Tuesday night to protest the shooting and McDonald’s lost life.

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