Congresswoman Lawrence Releases Statement Regarding Fatal Police Shooting of Laquan McDonald
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) on Wednesday released the following statement regarding today’s release of video evidence in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago Police Officer.
“The October 20, 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police officers is yet another stark and tragic reminder of the serious challenges facing our communities and law enforcement agencies.
Today’s release of video footage of the shooting, evidence that was used to sustain a charge of murder against the officer who shot and killed Laquan, are disturbing and the case is one that demands full and thorough investigation and prosecution.
But we must not stop there. We must cultivate better community policing policies focused on rebuilding trust between residents and law enforcement. We need greater cultural and gender diversity in our law enforcement agencies and a greater emphasis on community building and collaboration. We must end the practice of racial profiling and the overuse of lethal force. We must reaffirm for our authorities that when we allow law-abiding citizens to be treated differently based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin, we are guilty of violating the U.S. Constitution.
As a former Mayor, I know how valuable our law enforcement agencies are to building safe and happy communities. I also know that we must be steadfast in the administration of police discipline when it is warranted. It is critical that we act now to make our communities safer for everyone.
I have also seen first-hand the transformative effect of community-informed and community-oriented policing. I believe that we can harness that power and achieve amazing things if we are all willing to commit ourselves to taking the difficult but necessary steps to rebuild that lost trust and work toward a better future together.”