Family of man killed by Chicago police wants dashcam video released

Mother: Chicago won't release dashcam of son's killing
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Mother: Chicago won't release dashcam of son's killing 04:21

Story highlights

  • Ronald Johnson was shot and killed by Chicago police in October last year
  • His family wants the dashcam video of the shooting made available to the public
  • Chicago police have not responded to a request for comment on the case

(CNN)The family of Ronald Johnson is angry and wants answers from the Chicago Police Department.

Johnson, 25, was shot and killed by an officer in October 2014. According to a preliminary police statement released the same day as the shooting, he pointed a weapon at pursuing officers, after first attempting to flee on foot.
But Johnson's family does not believe the official account.
    Johnson and his mother
    His mother says dashcam footage of the shooting proves her son was murdered, and is pushing for the video's release to the public.
    "This got to stop. Y'all covering up this murder. It's been over a year now that my son been murdered and y'all still haven't did y'all job to convict this cop of murder. Shouldn't nobody have to go through this pain over their kids," Dorothy Holmes told reporters Tuesday.

    No comment from police

    Her son's case is receiving renewed attention in the wake of the case of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager.
    McDonald, 17, was shot and killed by a white Chicago officer in October last year, eight days after Johnson. Dashcam video of that shooting was recently released after a judge ordered it be made public, sparking outrage and protests.
    Many people who took to the streets questioned why it took 13 months to release the video.
    The officer in that case, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with first-degree murder.
    According to family attorney Michael D. Oppenheimer, the officer in Johnson's case remains on paid desk duty. The lawyer accuses police of lying.
    "The dashcam video, which I'm not allowed to show you today, clearly shows that he was not carrying a weapon, nor did he ever turn and point anything. The police department planted that gun because there's no way anything would have stayed in Ronald Johnson's hand after he was shot," Oppenheimer said.
    CNN has reached out to the Chicago Police Department for comment, but did not get a response.

    Department under fire

    The department is under fire.
    The mayor announced a new task force on law enforcement accountability that will review how the city trains and oversees its police officers.
    Later Tuesday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general asking the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to investigate the Chicago Police Department to see whether its practices violate the Constitution and federal law.
    The Justice Department, which has initiated several such investigations, including in Baltimore and elsewhere, is reviewing the letter.
    For more than a year, Black Lives Matter activists and others have tried to call attention to the role of race in policing. They point to cases in New York; Ferguson, Missouri; and Baltimore, where they say police have used excessive and deadly force against black men.

    'My son's supposed to be here'

    Holmes filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago police shortly after the shooting of her son.
    Defendants moved for an order prohibiting the public release of the dashcam footage.
    Oppenheimer then filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which he said was denied. He has now also filed a lawsuit to get the video released. Both he and Holmes have seen the footage.
    "The city and the police have been blocking us at every step," Oppenheimer told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday. "All they've done is try to keep this quiet."
    Holmes told reporters she's seeking to clear her son's name. Johnson was a father of five, four girls and one boy.
    She said everyone knew her son, and that he was the type of person to put a smile on your face.
    Some called him "The Dog Man," Holmes said, because he had a habit of bringing home stray dogs and nursing them back to health.
    "My son's supposed to be here," she said. "He's not supposed to be over at Mount Hope Cemetery."