CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The man who got the original tip that a dashcam video showed a Chicago police officer killing Laquan McDonald does not think such shootings are on the rise here, despite the number of videos that have surfaced recently.
Craig Futterman of the University of Chicago has studied 30 years worth of police shootings in the city. So far this year, seven people have been killed by Chicago police with just two weeks left in 2015, which is down from last year's 18 killed.
“According to Chicago Police, the recent data show that more than - there've been more than 150 shootings every year on average, if we count the misses. About 50 people on average get shot and hit,” Futterman said.
The website of the city's Independent Police Review Authority lists 2008 as the deadliest recent year, with 24 people killed as police shot 57, with 65 percent of them being African American.
2012 was the least deadly: 8 killed of 57 shot with 88 percent of them African-American.
But new cause for concern about IPRA's investigation of those shootings came during the trial Police Commander Glenn Evans. He was acquitted this week on charges of using excessive force and official misconduct by a judge who heard testimony of grotesque incompetence at IPRA.
“The folks they have training IPRA on how to investigate these shootings have been found kind of a national laughingstock,” Futterman said.
There've been more than 400 shootings in which people have been shot. And to this date, there's never been a finding that a single shooting involving an on-duty officer was ever found the be unjustified by IPRA.
It may have been Futterman's decades of work at the University of Chicago on police shootings that prompted a whistle blower to contact him last year. Futterman calls the individual "an internal law enforcement source" who feared that the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald's killing and, indeed, the whole case would be covered up.
It turned out things are different now.
FOX 32: What’s changed?
“What's changed is we've got video,” Futterman said.
And soon a lot more video. Chicago police plan to expand the use of body worn cameras from the current one to seven districts next year. officials claim citizen complaints drop by as much as 80 percent after switching to body worn cameras.