From the time Laquan McDonald was shot by police Officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014, issues surrounding the public’s right to know, in real time whenever possible, have been front and center. It took months for the dashcam video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald finally to come to light.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the video only after a court ordered him to do so in late 2015, months after Emanuel was safely re-elected.

When people finally did see the video, the images were sickening. McDonald was moving away from Van Dyke when the 13-year police veteran took his first shot. Van Dyke kept pumping bullets into McDonald, 16 shots in all.

Emanuel was right to fear the video’s power. Even today, the images may be potent enough to jeopardize his next re-election, in 2019.

Truth does emerge. And standing in its way often does no good.

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David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...