US & Canada

Chicago police: Videos released in cases of alleged misconduct

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante (L) listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks of planned changes in training and procedures for Chicago police in the wake of recent shootings. Image copyright Scott Olson/Getty Images
Image caption The release of files is part of a new policy focused on police transparency under Mayor Rahm Emanuel

A Chicago panel has released a cache of evidence relating to 101 cases of shootings involving officers and alleged police misconduct.

The files included video and audio recordings as well as police reports on pending investigations.

The trove of records had previously not been made available to the public.

The disclosure comes six months after public backlash over video footage of a black teenager who died after being shot 16 times by a white officer.

The Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which investigates alleged police misconduct, released the files dating back five years.

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Protesters called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials to step down in November after police dashcam footage showed Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014. Mr Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.

Chicago officials withheld the footage of Mr McDonald's death for a year before a judge ordered its release.

Public outcry prompted the US Justice Department to launch an investigation into the Chicago Police Department's use of force and accountability procedures.

The city posted the files online as part of a new policy to release videos of shootings at the hands of police within 60 days of most incidents.

Chicago is struggling to restore public trust in law enforcement amid the fallout over the handling of Mr McDonald's death.

A task force appointed by the mayor issued a scathing report in April that found the police department to be plagued by racism.