Justice Department Opens Investigation into the Chicago Police Department
The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into whether the Chicago Police Department engaged in "a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday.
Calls for a federal probe intensified after Chicago police released a video showing McDonald being shot 16 times last year.
The video sparked protests in the city and led to the resignation of the police superintendent.
"Civil Rights Division lawyers are reviewing the many requests for an investigation, which is the department's standard process, and the attorney general is briefed regularly on the review and expects to make a decision very soon," the Justice Department said about a possible probe.
The announcement of a pattern-and-practice investigation comes after a police report released over the weekend showed information contradictory to what appeared on the video.
That video shows McDonald, armed with a knife and with PCP in his system, approaching police cars in the street before veering away from officers who had their guns trained on him. None of the eight or more officers on the scene fired their weapons, but within six seconds of exiting his vehicle, Van Dyke began unloading the 16-round magazine in his 9 mm pistol. McDonald was about 10 feet away when he opened fire.