Burger King Manager Comes Forward, Says Police Erased Video Of Laquan McDonald Shooting

A Burger King manager has accused police of erasing his video footage showing officers shooting a black teenager on the streets of Chicago. The authorities deny tampering with the evidence, but tensions are already running high after another video of the incident shocked many and led to official charges against the officer responsible.

According to ABC News, the Burger King is just yards away from where Officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times last year. The manager, Jay Darshane, says the footage captured the shooting, but the FBI took it just minutes after the incident.

Darshane explained, "I was just trying to help the police with their investigation. I didn't know they were going to delete it."

The Burger King manager testified in front of a grand jury earlier this year, saying that the officers cut an 86-minute hole into the surveillance video that included the shooting.

The allegations fueled anger and protests, although demonstrations have remained relatively peaceful. According to the Guardian, on Friday, protesters interrupting holiday shopping by shouting "stop the cover-up!" and "16 shots! 16 shots!"

Protester takes to the streets on Black Friday after dashcam footage revealed details on the shooting of Laquan McDonald. [Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]
Protester takes to the streets on Black Friday after dashcam footage revealed details on the shooting of Laquan McDonald. [Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]The police response was also restrained, with just a few arrests during the demonstrations.

Even if the Burger King footage was edited in a cover-up, the grand jury and others still got a dramatic viewing of the shooting.

On Tuesday, a judge ordered the release of the squad car camera video, which showed McDonald jogging down the street at night. When Officer Van Dyke and other officers come out of a squad car, the teenager started to veer away. That's when the police opened fire.

McDonald spun around and hit the pavement, all while Van Dyke continued to shoot.

The cops were pursuing the teenager because of a criminal complaint about car break-ins.

The officer's lawyer says that Van Dyke feared for his life, and acted within the bounds of the law. Investigators found a knife on McDonald after the shooting.

In light of the squad car video, persecutors announced this week that Jason Van Dyke had been officially charged with first-degree murder and will be tried in court. If convicted, the officer will face 20 years in prison.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is also facing calls for a vote of no confidence. Members of the Black Caucus in Chicago, a group urging the vote, say it should not have taken a full year to bring Van Dyke to justice.

Despite some confrontations and arrests, the Chicago protests remained civil compared to similar demonstrations in Ferguson and Baltimore. [Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]
Despite some confrontations and arrests, the Chicago protests remained civil compared to similar demonstrations in Ferguson and Baltimore. [Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]The Burger King's Manager's allegations might complicate the case, although the police chief denies any tampering. Likewise, the Cook County state's attorney, Anita Alvarez, said forensic testing on the Burger King film turned up no evidence part of the film was erased.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, President Obama even commented on the shooting after authorities released the dashcam video, calling it disturbing.

"Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who've suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor. And I'm personally grateful to the people of my hometown for keeping protests peaceful."
The city of Chicago will reportedly pay McDonald's family $5 million. The shooting outside Burger King also marks the first time in 35 years that a Chicago officer was charged with murder for actions while on duty.

[Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]