As the gruesome killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald continues to garner national attention, pieces of the story are still being analyzed. Dashcam footage of the incident – which found McDonald being shot 16 times – was released to the public, but one local business manager says police got rid of another piece of evidence. Jay Darshane, manager of the Burger King restaurant located just 50 yards from where the shooting took place, said police deleted 83 minutes of the restaurant’s surveillance video that detailed the shooting.
“I was just trying to help the police with their investigation,” Darshane told The Chicago Tribune. “I didn’t know they were going to delete it.”
Darshane said he informed a federal grand jury of his belief that police tampered with the Burger King surveillance video in a testimony earlier this year. According to AOL News, an attorney for McDonald’s family said a a group of officers examined the footage, and more than an hour of the clip was gone thereafter.
“A police detective and a technician went into the Burger King…and the Burger King employees, including the manager, looked at the video, and found about 83 minutes of video that were missing, which included the time the shooting occurred,” he said.
Robbins believes the missing footage could have included police interaction with witness after the shooting, as well as served to clarify that McDonald did not lunge toward any officers at the time he was shot. State Attorney Anita Alvarez and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have cited “technical difficulties” as the reason for the lost video.
“There were apparently technical difficulties,” McCarthy said. “But in no way, shape or form is there any evidence that anything was tampered with, and I think [Alvarez] covered that.”
Van Dyke has been charged with first degree murder. Federal prosecutors say their investigation is still in progress.