Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday he would not have released the dashcam video that set off a storm of protests in the city last fall — not that anyone asked what he thought.
“If I was asked, and I was not, I would have recommended to not release the Laquan McDonald” video, “because the case was still pending,” McCarthy said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon.
That video showed McDonald, a Chicago teenager, being shot 16 times in October 2014. Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with murder in McDonald’s death – but only after the video was released.
The city fought in court for more than a year to keep the video under wraps; it released it only after a judge ordered it to do so.
“Just because people want it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea,” McCarthy said. “Releasing videos in not going to build trust.” It does, however, compromise ongoing criminal investigations, he added.
It’s all helped to create a twisted environment for police.
“I think the world has been flipped upside down. I think we’re in a culture today that’s investigating police instead of criminals,” McCarthy said.
Non-compliance with police officers is becoming standard, he added — as is a defensive posture by police, which limits their effectiveness because the aren’t as likely to be proactive.
“Why would you stop anyone if you’re a police officer today in Chicago?” McCarthy asked. “Officers are getting mixed messages on how to do their job.”