Chicago officials released hundreds of emails Thursday related to a video showing a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times that wasn’t released until more than a year after the shooting.
The emails, including some between city officials asking how they should respond to demands for the video, were released to media outlets that have been pressing for the documents for weeks.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police have been under heavy scrutiny since the city, under court order, released a squad car video last month showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. McDonald, armed with a knife, is seen veering away from Van Dyke in the video before the veteran officer starts firing.
Van Dyke, who faces six first-degree murder counts, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The release of the video set off weeks of demonstrations, forced the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and has led to an ongoing wide-ranging civil rights investigation of the entire Chicago Police Department by the U.S. Department of Justice. Protesters also have called for Emanuel to resign.
The city released the emails a day after Emanuel said Chicago police must be better trained to distinguish between when they can use a gun and when they should use a gun. That announcement came on the heels of a double fatal shooting last weekend by police that killed two people: 55-year-old Bettie Jones, who police said was shot accidentally, and 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier.
Emanuel had been vacationing with his family in Cuba when the weekend shooting occurred. His office said he cut his trip short and returned to Chicago on Tuesday.