On Tuesday, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, a 37-year-old white man, was charged with first-degree murder for shooting Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old black man.
McDonald was shot 16 times on October 24, 2014, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
The dash cam video of the event had been sealed however, a Chicago judge ordered the video's public release after freelance journalist Brandon Smith filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. .
The video shows McDonald walking down the road with a knife in his hand. Van Dyke and other officers stand left of him, on the sidewalk.
As McDonald walks by, he turns to the officer, who then shoots McDonald from a short distance. Nowhere does the video show the young man lunging at the officers as they previously claimed.
McDonald's family had already settled with the city before the video's release.
In a statement, the family said they did not want the video to be released to the public. The statement reads,
This is a difficult time for us. As we have said in the past, while we would prefer that the video not be released we understand that a court has ordered otherwise.
Protesters quickly gathered on the streets following both the officer's arrest and the video's release.
In a statement, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded with the people of Chicago to remain peaceful. He added,
I understand that people will be upset and will want to protest when they see this video. It's fine to be passionate, but it's essential to be peaceful.
Van Dyke is facing a possible 20 years to life in prison.
Watch the video below. (WARNING: The video contains highly disturbing content.)