Outrage: no charges after release of police execution video in Chicago

Picture Credit: Frank James Johnson
Picture Credit: Frank James Johnson

Midst growing outrage at the entrenched racist brutality of the Chicago Police Department and City Hall, the video evidence of Ronald Johnson’s (RonnieMan) 2014 execution at the hands of a Chicago police officer was released by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez at a press conference on Dec. 7. Outrageously, she announced no charges against the killer, officer George Hernandez.

Released dashcam video of the killing shows a police car pulling up to the scene. Officer Hernandez leaps out of the car and shoots Johnson in the back as he is running away. All within a few seconds.

The police claim Johnson was armed. At no time did any officer radio that Johnson was armed. The police did not take an evidence picture of Johnson with a gun. The video does not show a gun in Johnson’s hand. Alvarez’s claim that the video shows a gun in his hand is preposterous.

Johnson, unarmed, posed absolutely no danger to the approximately ten armed officers who were in pursuit. In order to legalize yet another police execution of a Black man on the streets of Chicago, Alvarez played for the press middle of the night 911 calls about shots being fired in the vicinity—that’s not evidence.

According to Michael Oppenheimer, the lawyer for Johnson’s family, Alvarez’s office never investigated the shooting and relied solely on an investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority. IPRA, as everyone knows, is a sham. The head of IPRA was just forced to resign in wake of the Laquan McDonald cover-up.

The video and evidence made available to the public cannot be interpreted in any other way—the officer was in no way justified in killing Johnson with a shot that hit him in the back of the head. Hernandez should be behind bars. Instead, the Chicago establishment is rallying to protect yet another police lyncher.

Dorothy Holmes, Johnson’s mother has pledged to keep fighting. At a news conference, also on Dec. 7, she said, “I’m very upset that she [Alvarez] didn’t convict this officer for murdering my son. If it was anybody in her family that got killed like that, that officer would have been charged for murder, and that case would have been looked into way before a year later. It took more than 13 months for this case to be heard, for her to come out and might as well have said, ‘Not guilty.’”

Justice for Ronald Johnson: Jail Officer Hernandez, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Anita Alvarez now!

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