CHICAGO — The mother of a man shot and killed by Chicago police last year said she has rejected the city’s proposed settlement and wants it to release dashcam footage of the slaying because it shows her son was unarmed when he was killed.
The mother of Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson, Dorothy Holmes, told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that she has declined a proposed settlement by the city of Chicago in her federal civil lawsuit over her son’s death. Holmes said she will not take hush money from a city that has been doling it out in the millions to cover-up questionable police shootings, like the $5 million paid to Laquan McDonald’s family this past summer.
“You can’t put a price on my son’s life,” Holmes said with a shaken voice.
Her son was running through Washington Park on Oct. 12, 2014, on Chicago’s South Side when Officer George Hernandez shot him to death. Then, a familiar story was told to the press.
Johnson had a gun, Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden told the media. (Camden is the same de facto cop spokesman who claimed McDonald “lunged” at police with a knife, causing them to open fire.) Hernandez was not in uniform and driving an unmarked car when he responded to a call of shots fired. Johnson became an automatic suspect because he was running. Camden said Johnson was carrying a gun when at one point he turned toward Hernandez, causing the officer to shoot.
Holmes and her attorney said they’ve seen the dashcam video and it shows police are lying.
Johnson is seen sprinting through the park with nothing in his hands, they said.
“He’s running with palms up,” said William Calloway, an activist who speaks on behalf of Johnson’s family. “The video’s not blurry. It’s not grainy. It is clear as day.”
“They killed him and he was unarmed,” he told The Daily Beast.
Even worse, according to a stunning and volatile allegation by Holmes’s attorney, is that police framed Johnson after they killed him by planting a gun on his person.
“Her prerogative the whole time has been to get this officer arrested and indicted,” Calloway said of Holmes.
On Dec. 10, a federal judge will decide whether the city must release the video.
The Independent Police Review Agency’s investigation into Johnson’s death has not been finalized; nor has the agency cleared its investigations into several other questionable killings by police. Plus, Holmes’s lawsuit and the success of getting McDonald’s death video released may prompt other families to start asking hard questions about their loves ones’ deaths.
Holmes’s press conference began just minutes after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he had essentially fired Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The move lets Emanuel believe in a political sense that everything that happened before today—Laquan, Ronnieman, the killing of Rekia Boyd, and the millions of dollars in settlements handed out as a result of police misconduct—is behind him.
Today shows there are more problems coming.