The police killing of Laquan McDonald has Latino lawmakers in Chicago now questioning the police shooting of a Latino man 10 years ago.
Members of Chicago City Council’s Hispanic Caucus said the 2005 death of Emmanuel Lopez, a 23-year-old undocumented Mexican, was just as egregious as McDonald’s, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Both shootings involved Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is facing first-degree murder charges for allegedly shooting McDonald 16 times while the black teen was walking away from him.
"Excessive and unreasonable force" is not just an issue in the black communities, but in all communities, especially the Latino community, said Chicago Alderman George Cardenas, who is chairman of the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus, according to WSL Chicago.
Lopez, who was working as a janitor, was shot during a traffic stop. Police claim he intentionally ran over a police officer, and cops opened fire. The family hired a lawyer, Terry Ekl, who claimed the police account of the shooting was a “total fabrication.” They insist he was unarmed, and was even wearing his seatbelt when he was shot.
His family ended up filing a $10 million lawsuit against the police department.
When Lopez was shot, Van Dyke “was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene,” Cardenas said. No charges were ever filed against any of the officers involved in Lopez’s shooting.
"When it was all said and done, Lopez had 16 bullets in him. Fourteen in the back," Cardenas said.
Cardenas is not demanding the city reopen Lopez’s case, but suggested the city should settle the civil case with the grieving family. He also said the Department of Justice should reexamine all police shootings in Chicago.
"Our point is this has to be color blind when it comes to justice. Whether it's black, Hispanic, Chinese, Muslim, and so on,” he said. “This city cannot move forward unless we move forward together."