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Mother Of Ronald Johnson, Killed By Police In 2014, Wants Dashcam Video Released

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The family of a young black man shot and killed by Chicago police in October 2014 has repeated their demand that the city release dashboard camera video of the shooting, a week after authorities released video of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Ronald Johnson, 25, was shot and killed eight days before McDonald, but his death has not received the same public attention.

On Tuesday, Johnson's mother accused the Police Department of covering up her son's death.

At her family attorney's office in the West Loop, Dorothy Holmes said the video of her son's death will show he was unarmed, and – similar to McDonald – walking away from police, not toward them, when he was shot.

She said an autopsy revealed her son was shot in the back on Oct. 12, 2014.

Holmes filed a federal lawsuit against Officer George Hernandez and the city last year, claiming dashboard camera video shows Johnson never pointed a weapon at police, was moving away from Hernandez, and was not an imminent threat to officers when he was shot.

Police have said Johnson pulled a gun during a chase in the 5400 block of South King Drive, after officers responded to a call of shots fired one block away.

Holmes' attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, said he's seen the video of the shooting, and "I'm 100 percent certain Ronald Johnson had nothing in his hand."


"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," Oppenheimer said. "We believe that the gun was planted on Ronald Johnson after the shooting."

Last week, Holmes called on the mayor, Chicago police, and Cook County prosecutors to release the video of the shooting "so that everybody can see that this officer is lying about what happened on that night when he murdered my son."

She repeated that demand Tuesday, saying "this has got to stop."

The city has fought the release of the video in the Johnson case, just as it did in the McDonald case until a Cook County judge ordered the city to make that video public.

"They are still seeking to hide this video," Oppenheimer said.

Holmes said her lawsuit against the city is not about money.

"It's still dirty money. It's not going to bring him back," she said.

She said she wants Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy – who was fired by the mayor Tuesday morning – "to see how would they feel if they were sitting over here where I'm sitting at, explaining their story about what happened to one of their kids. My son had life. He had five kids, ages ranging from eight to two. My son's supposed to be here, he's not supposed to be over at Mount Hope Cemetery."

Johnson's family also has asked for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the case, voicing distrust in Alvarez, given how long it took her to bring charges against Officer Jason Van Dyke in the McDonald case. Van Dyke was not charged for more than a year after McDonald was killed, and only after authorities were ordered to release the video of that shooting. Johnson's family has been waiting longer for the investigation of his death to be completed.

Hernandez has been placed on desk duty while the Independent Police Review Authority investigates the shooting.

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