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FBI Launches Criminal Investigation in Fatal Shooting of Black Teen

Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer last October
FBI Launches Criminal Investigation in Fatal Shooting of Black Teen
Luiz Felipe Castro

Federal investigators are looking into the details surrounding the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Chicago teen Laquan McDonald, who died after a police officer shot him 16 times last October.

According to reports, police were called after receiving word that McDonald, who was allegedly holding a knife, was attempting to break into cars. After police approached the scene and ordered him to drop his knife, McDonald reportedly continued walking down the street. The policemen at the scene were not armed with stun guns, so they asked the dispatcher to send Taser-equipped officers. Dashcam footage shows McDonald walking through a parking lot shortly before two additional police officers arrived. As the officers exited their squad car, one of them immediately began to fire his gun—pelting the teen with 16 bullets. McDonald died an hour later at a nearby hospital. The officer, whose name hasn’t been released yet, has said that he opened fired because he feared for his life. 

Chicago Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton announced earlier this week that the FBI was conducting a criminal probe into the October 20 shooting. Patton also disclosing that McDonald’s family would be receiving a $5 million settlement, which was reached before the family filed a lawsuit against the city. 

“This is kind of a unique case where we had the original two officers who arrived at the scene follow Mr. McDonald for some number of blocks and matter of minutes and never saw fit to discharge their weapons,” Patton said on Monday during a city meeting. 

The officer who killed McDonald is currently on paid desk duty, pending the result of the FBI’s criminal probe. As of right now, he has not been charged.