CHICAGO — Recordings of Chicago police radio traffic surrounding a white officer's shooting of a black teen 16 times show that one of the officers who were there requested a Taser.
The recordings obtained Wednesday by WMAQ-TV through a Freedom of Information Act Request give a partial glimpse at what the officers were saying before on the October 2014 night that Officer Jason Van Dyke killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
The police department released dashcam video of the shooting last night after being ordered to do so by a judge, but there was no accompanying audio. Prosecutors charged Van Dyke with first-degree murder hours before the release of the video, which has drawn heavy criticism, allegations of a cover-up and sporadic protests, including one Thursday in a downtown shopping district.
In the radio traffic recordings, an officer asked if any of the other officers in the area had a stun gun, which would be used to subdue a suspect with non-lethal force.
"Someone have a Taser?" he asked. "This guy is walking away but he's got a knife in hand."
A dispatcher responded that one was on its way, then immediately asked if any units closer to the scene could help.
"All right, anybody have a Taser — help out. ... Looking for a Taser, armed offender," she said.
None of the officers who spoke appeared to be anxious until one radioed, "Shots fired by police, get an ambulance over here."
"You guys OK?" a dispatcher asked.
"10-4, everything is fine — roll an ambulance over here," one officer answered.
Van Dyke had opened fire on McDonald and kept shooting after the teen crumpled to the ground.
The video's release led to the ouster of the police superintendent and calls for other top officials to resign, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
More than 50 protesters took part in Thursday's protest on Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile, where stores were doing a brisk business catering to last-minute Christmas shoppers.
Some protesters held "Rahm Resign" placards, and one paraded past stores with a sign that read "Shopping for a New Mayor."
"We cannot keep a mayor who covers things up," said Father Jose Landaverde, a Catholic priest from a heavily Latino part of Chicago.
Protesters blocked off some store entrances temporarily, and police detained two people after some pushing and shoving between officers and demonstrators.