Chicago is bracing for intense protests and demonstrations Tuesday evening after the city released an "extremely disturbing" video of the fatal shooting of a black teenager at the hands of a white police officer in October 2014, Slate reports. The police dashcam video of the shooting allegedly shows Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. In the video, McDonald—who was armed with a small knife—can be seen walking away from officers when Van Dyke opens fire. Van Dyke continues to shoot McDonald as he's lying on the ground. Al Jazeera notes Van Dyke emptied his gun and prepared to reload during the incident. The city had been attempting to block the release of the video since last year, Slate reports. A judge ordered it be made public last week.
Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday in advance of the video's release. "It's really important for public safety that the citizens of Chicago know that this officer is being held responsible for his actions," a county prosecutor tells Al Jazeera. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the ACLU of Illinois have called for calm and peace in the wake of the video's release. "The anger and frustration expressed by many African-American residents of Chicago in viewing the video is understandable," the ACLU states. "We hope that we can seize this moment to improve all aspects of policing." Activists have promised demonstrations following the video's release. "Chicago is not a Ferguson, it's not a Baltimore," one activist tells the Tribune. "We're not promoting any violence, but we understand that people are going to be angry." (Read more Laquan McDonald stories.)