(WASHINGTON) — President Obama said he was “deeply disturbed” by the video of a Chicago teen being shot by police, he said in a statement Wednesday evening.
“Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald,” the president wrote in a Facebook post. “This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor. And I’m personally grateful to the people of my hometown for keeping protests peaceful.”
The video shows McDonald, 17, who later died at a hospital, walking near a group of officers responding to a report of someone with a knife on Oct. 20, 2014.
Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with first degree murder, allegedly fired at the teen 16 times, including while he was on the ground.
The video shows puffs of smoke coming from the ground, which were caused by bullets hitting the pavement and kicking up debris, according to court documents.
Releasing the video was controversial and the Chicago Police Department did so under court order a day before the mandated deadline.
Many feared that the release of the footage would spark violence.
Van Dyke’s lawyer, Dan Herbert, said that “It’s certainly everyone’s right to make a judgment about it but I would just state that the judgment made by individuals who have viewed this tape from the comfort of their living room, on their sofa … it’s not the same.”
Obama declined to answer questions about the video earlier in the day.
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