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Cops didn’t know this camera caught them deleting video of the murder of Laquan McDonald

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Accused of deleting the surveillance video of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’s death, several officers appeared in recently released screenshots tampering with Burger King’s computers before the footage mysteriously disappeared. Although 86 minutes of the surveillance video have gone missing, including the moment that McDonald was gunned down, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez claims no one tampered with the footage.

Surrounded by officers and suspected of breaking into cars on October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, 17, was attempting to walk away from a group of Chicago cops when Officer Jason Van Dyke exited his patrol car. According to initial reports, McDonald was armed with a knife and lunged at Officer Van Dyke. Fearing for his life and the lives of his fellow officers, Van Dyke shot the teen in the chest out of self-defense.

But according to witness statements and police dashcam video, McDonald was walking away when Van Dyke opened fire. After McDonald had collapsed to the ground in a near-fetal position, Van Dyke continued firing his weapon until emptying his clip. As Van Dyke began reloading his gun, a fellow officer had to order him to cease firing at the dying teen.

McDonald’s autopsy revealed that Van Dyke shot him 16 times, including two bullets in the back, seven in his arms, two in his right leg, once on each side of his chest, and single bullets wounds to his right hand, scalp, and neck. Nine of the 16 entrance wounds had a downward trajectory. None of the five other officers at the scene fired their weapons.

Before McDonald’s family could even file a lawsuit, the city gave them a $5 million settlement on the condition that the family agreed not to publicly release the dashcam footage of the teen’s death. After suppressing the video for 13 months, the city received a court order to release the footage. The city released the dashcam video last week, which clearly shows McDonald did not lunge at the officers before the fatal shooting.

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In May, Burger King district manager Jay Darshane accused officers of deleting the security footage after spending over three hours in the fast food restaurant on the night of the shooting. According to Darshane, the video equipment was working properly, but 86 minutes of footage, from 9:13 p.m. to 10:39 p.m., disappeared after the officers left.

Charged with first-degree murder, Van Dyke fired his first shot at 9:57 p.m. When asked if he was certain that the officers deleted the footage of the killing, Darshane answered, “Yes.”

“We had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files,” Darshane said. “I mean we were just trying to help the police officers.”

Unable to clearly explain why the 86 minutes disappeared, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy blamed the missing files on technical difficulties. At a press conference last week, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez asserted that no one had tampered with the Burger King surveillance video. When asked who conducted the forensic testing, Alvarez did not appear to know the answer.

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Alvarez responded, “That’s all I’m going to say on this.”

On Monday, NBC5 obtained screenshots taken from a surveillance video inside Burger King on the night of McDonald’s death. The photos appear to show officers using the computer console that recorded the fatal shooting. Although the police department and state’s attorney claim the officers did not delete those 86 missing minutes, remember that this information is coming from the same cops who initially lied about the shooting and the same officials who suppressed the police dashcam video for 13 months.

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Ex-prosecutor explains why Trump feels like he can lie about Robert Mueller

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On Wednesday, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Trump is everything he accuses special counsel Robert Mueller of being — and he feels confident in gaslighting the American people because he knows no one has the ability to challenge him on it.

"The president falsely accused Mueller of illegally deleting anti-Trump text messages between two former FBI employees," said Blitzer. "In fact, those messages were wiped from government phones by the Justice Department in accordance with longstanding department policy. What's your reaction to that baseless, personal attack from the president on Mueller?"

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WATCH LIVE: Livestream of first #DemDebate with 10 presidential hopefuls

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Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke are just three of the ten Democrats who will appear on the debate stage in Miami Wednesday night.

Warren is clearly seen as the front-runner of this tier of candidates, and her policy-focused campaign has helped her stand out from typical politicians speaking in broad platitudes and empty promises made but rarely kept.

The Democrats are set to take the stage at 9 p.m. EST and will speak in 60-second sound-bytes for two hours, the rules state. Prior to the debate, two candidates went to one of the ports of entry and immigration is likely to be a key issue in the discussion.

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Democrats believe Mueller testimony could be tipping point for impeachment: CNN

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On Wednesday, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that some House Democrats view special counsel Robert Mueller's upcoming public testimony to the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees in July as a potential tipping point that could sway both Democratic leaders and the American people in favor of opening an impeachment probe.

"Democrats who support opening up an impeachment inquiry believe this could bolster the calls to open up formal proceedings, perhaps shift public opinion, perhaps encourage the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move off of her opposition to opening up an impeachment probe because of what Bob Mueller will say," said Raju.

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