Ronald Johnson . . . Dead By Chicago Cop

 by Kai EL’ Zabar

Dorothy Holmes, Ronald Johnson's mother with inset of Ronald.

Dorothy Holmes, Ronald Johnson’s mother with inset of Ronald.

October 2014 is fast becoming a month to remember in Chicago and all those watching. Noted that it’s the month Laquan McDonald died in his 17th year of life in 2014 at the hand of a Chicago police officer. And now the family of Ronald Johnson is angry and wants answers from the Chicago Police Department.

Ronald Johnson was killed by a Chicago policeman just 8 day before Laquan McDonald

Ronald Johnson was killed by a Chicago policeman just 8 days  before Laquan McDonald

Johnson, 25, was shot and  also  killed by an officer in October 2014.  According to a preliminary police statement released the same day as the shooting, Johnson pointed a weapon at pursuing officers, after first attempting to flee on foot.

Police say they recovered a gun from Johnson’s right hand. The lawyer says the gun was planted.

But Johnson’s family does not accept the official account. Fortunately there is a video  that gives them good reason to dispute the police report.

Dorothy Holmes Ron Johnson’s  mother says dashcam footage of the shooting proves her son was murdered, and is pushing for the video’s release to the public.

According to family attorney Michael D. Oppenheimer, the officer in Johnson’s case remains on paid desk duty. The lawyer accuses police of lying.

“The dashcam video, which I’m not allowed to show you today, clearly shows that he was not carrying a weapon, nor did he ever turn and point anything. The police department planted that gun because there’s no way anything would have stayed in Ronald Johnson’s hand after he was shot,” Oppenheimer said.

“This got to stop. Y’all covering up this murder. It’s been over a year now that my son been murdered and y’all still haven’t did y’all job to convict this cop of murder. Shouldn’t nobody have to go through this pain over their kids,” Dorothy Holmes told reporters Tuesday.

The moment of reckoning came for her son’s case in the wake of Laquan McDonald, case that took place the same month, the same year.

Seventeen year-old McDonald was shot and killed by a white Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke eight days after Johnson. Dashcam video of that shooting was recently released after a judge ordered it be made public, sparking outrage and protests. It was realized 400 days after McDonald’s death.

That same day the Cook County attorney general Anita Alavrez had announced  charges of first-degree murder being brought up against  Van Dyke earlier.  Organized groups marched in protest that evening. 

According to family attorney Michael D. Oppenheimer, the officer in Johnson’s case remains on paid desk duty. The lawyer accuses police of lying.

If this were a movie we could blame it on deja vu but it isn’t, however the scenario  seems eerily similar  to the McDonald case.  “The dashcam video, which I’m not allowed to show you today, clearly shows that he was not carrying a weapon, nor did he ever turn and point anything. The police department planted that gun because there’s no way anything would have stayed in Ronald Johnson’s hand after he was shot,” said Oppenheimer.

As Oppenheimer and Holmes presented their request, Mayor Emanuel  was holding  a press conference where he announced he had asked for the resignation of  Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Chicago’s leadership is under  scutiny and the world is watching.

The mayor announced a new task force on law enforcement accountability that will review how the city trains and oversees its police officers.

Later Tuesday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general asking the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the Chicago Police Department to see whether its practices violate the Constitution and federal law.

On Tuesday the New York Times wrote that the  leadership of Chicago needed to resign and named Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez

The Justice Department, which has initiated several such investigations, including in Baltimore and elsewhere, is reviewing the letter.

For more than a year, Black Lives Matter activists and other groups have called attention to the role of race in policing. They point to cases in New York; Ferguson, Missouri; and Baltimore, where they say police have used excessive and deadly force against Black men.

Holmes filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago police shortly after the shooting of her son.

Defendants moved for an order prohibiting the public release of the dashcam footage.

Oppenheimer then filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which he said was denied. He has now also filed a lawsuit to get the video released. Both he and Holmes have seen the footage.

“The city and the police have been blocking us at every step,” Oppenheimer told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday. “All they’ve done is try to keep this quiet.”

Holmes says that her son was a father of  four daughters and a son and she wants to clear her son’s name. 

She described her son as one that everyone knew and that he made people smile.

A collector of stray dogs earned her Ronald Johnson the nick name, “The Dog Man.” Holmes said, it was  because he had a habit of bringing home stray dogs and nursing them back to health.

“My son’s supposed to be here,” she said. “He’s not supposed to be over at Mount Hope Cemetery.”

 

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