The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Saturday called for the arrest of some police officers mentioned in a police report giving statements about the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald that appear to be at odds with video of the incident.
"If Jason was fired and charged, then the nine who saw it filed false reports should be fired and charged,” Jackson said, referring to Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago officer who shot McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014, and was charged with first-degree murder in November.
In the accounts in the full police report released Friday, Van Dyke said McDonald was armed with a knife and "raised the knife over his chest and over his shoulder, pointing the knife at Van Dyke” and that the officer believed McDonald was attempting to kill him.
Van Dyke’s partner, Joseph Walsh, said in the report that McDonald got to within 12 to 15 feet of Van Dyke and "he swung the knife at the officers in an aggressive manner" before he was shot.
Dashcam video released last month appears to show McDonald moving away from the officers when Van Dyke fired. Van Dyke was the only officer on the scene who shot. Sixteen shots were fired at McDonald, prosecutors have said.
The release of the video sparked protests in Chicago which continued Saturday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired police Superintendent Garry McCarthy last week.
"The police chief cannot be the fall guy, nor is Jason the only guy," Jackson said at a press conference Saturday. "We want the police culture cleaned up."
Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty. Van Dyke's attorneys have said the shooting was justified because he felt threatened.
In interviews with investigators, Van Dyke said suspects armed with a knife are deadly within 21 feet, and said he remembered a 2012 bulletin from Chicago police warning about a "revolver-knife" which was capable of firing .22-caliber rounds, according to police documents.
Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi released a police statement Saturday that said the case report and all videos were turned over to federal and state prosecutors a day after the shooting, and that the Justice Department is reviewing actions and statements of officers. The statement said "swift action" would be taken if any wrongdoing is found.