Ronald Johnson III (1989?-2014) was a Black American man shot in the back by Chicago police on October 12th 2014, one week before they shot dead Laquan McDonald. The police say he had a gun. His family says the police planted it. The one non-police witness who said there was a gun, says he lied.
The police said on the day of the shooting:
“A foot pursuit ensued during which time the offender pointed his weapon in the direction of the pursuing officers.”
Officer George Hernandez shot five times, hitting Johnson twice. The autopsy shows that Johnson was struck in the back of his leg and the back of his shoulder, killing him.
There are no notes by detectives of what Hernandez said at the scene. There were no interviews of Hernandez by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which handles such investigations, nor by the state’s attorney office, which decides on whether to bring criminal charges. When the family’s lawyer interviewed Hernandez, he said he did not expect to be charged with a crime.
There was dashcam video of the shooting, but the city fought tooth and nail to keep it secret, just like they did with the video of Laquan McDonald. They tried to settle out of court with the family, but his mother refused.
On December 7th 2015, after 14 months, the video was made public by county state’s attorney Anita Alvarez, saying “I’m not hiding anything.” This was on the same day the US Justice Department announced an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Chicago police department.
The video shows that the police lied: Johnson never “pointed his weapon in the direction of the pursuing officers.” Alvarez said police were right to shoot anyway because he could have turned and shot them.
Alvarez says the video shows Johnson holding a gun. The family says it does not. See the picture above. I do not see it either. It seems to be a Phantom Negro Weapon, one that only non-Blacks can see.
Alvarez (and the New York Times) failed to point out that Witness A, the only non-police witness of a gun, says he lied, that he was repeating something detectives told him to say.
The pollice say they told Johnson to drop the gun. Witnesses dispute that too.
The dashcam does not pan to Johnson’s fallen body till after the police had time to plant a gun. The sound was also turned off.
“Based upon an objective review of the evidence and the law, we have determined that the prosecution could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of Officer Hernandez were not reasonable and permissible under the laws of the state of Illinois.”
Alvarez faces an election in three months.
Dorothy Holmes, Johson’s mother:
“For [Alvarez] to say that my son had an object in his hand, I tell it to her face, she’s a bald face liar, he had nothing in his hand.
“I hope one day she feels the pain that I feel.”
– Abagond, 2015.
- Phantom Negro Weapons
- also killed by Chicago police:
- Walter Scott – shot in the back by police who then plant a gun on him, caught on video.
- The police