Dashcam video in another fatal police shooting case to be released

Story highlights

  • Ronald Johnson was shot by Chicago police eight days before Laquan McDonald
  • Release of dashcam video in McDonald's death has rocked Chicago
  • Now, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says dashcam video of the Johnson shooting will be released

(CNN)With aftershocks from the release of dashcam video showing the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald still rumbling through Chicago, a dashcam video of another fatal police shooting is about to be released.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday that the city will release video showing the death of 25-year-old Ronald Johnson more than a year ago, according to CNN affiliate WLS-TV.
There was no indication from city officials specifically when the video would be made public. But Emanuel's announcement, which came during a news conference, hit a week before a judge is to rule in the case. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang is scheduled to decide Thursday whether to compel the city to release the dashcam video.
    Johnson, 25, was shot and killed by Officer George Hernandez in October 2014. According to a preliminary police statement released the same day as the shooting, Johnson pointed a weapon at pursuing officers, after first attempting to flee on foot.
    But Johnson's family does not believe the official account.
    His mother, Dorothy Holmes, says the dashcam footage of the shooting proves her son was slain, and is pushing for the video's release to the public.
    "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.
    Johnson's case -- and the video -- is receiving renewed attention in the wake of the case of McDonald, a black teenager.
    McDonald, 17, was shot and killed by a 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.
    The fallout from McDonald's death -- and the fact that it took 13 months for the police department to release the video of the shooting -- has rocked Chicago, Emanuel's office and led to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's resignation.
    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.
    In the Johnson case, family attorney Michael D. Oppenheimer told reporters in the wake of Emanuel's announcement he "wasn't that surprised, given the pressure we've put on them, the press has put on them, that the public has put on them.
    "It is a step in the right direction, and I can only say finally, finally, finally after 14 months of fighting the city on this, they're now going to release the video," Oppenheimer said Thursday. "It is a small step in terms of justice for Dorothy Holmes and her family and her son. There is a long way to go."
    Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office will investigate the possibility of criminal charges against the officer, her office said Wednesday.