The tragic murder of Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke has set the city of Chicago on edge. The “16 shots” hashtag has spread throughout social media and is a rallying cry for many protesting police violence when it comes to Blacks. According to news outlet Daily Mail, there is now a group of experts who are claiming the public should be made aware that part of the video recording McDonald’s death may be fake. Specifically, the sound of the 16 shots that is heard on the video is not real.
Michigan based audio expert Ed Primeau, who has 32 years experience in the audio field and serves on the executive committee of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, states the following:
- The shots sound more like synthesized drums than a 9mm gun
- The shots don’t sound like they were recorded by dash-cam system microphones. Primeau notes that the shots do not reverberate or have a frequency variation. He states that it is likely that the same sound was used for all shots in the video.
- If the video picked up the gunshots it should have also recorded the sounds of officers talking to each other or shouting at McDonald, Primeau states there are parts of the video in which officers’ mouths are moving but there is no sound.
Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police Department spokesman seems to concur with Primeau’s finding. According to Guglielmi, Chicago Police experts have also determined the audio is fake. In a recent statement, Guglielmi says, “The garbled talking in the background apparently does not match this incident…this type of recording would not be possible from the in-car camera system that Chicago police use.” He goes on to say the audio-video clip will be sent to an independent third party to validate the findings of the Chicago Police forensics team.
The original video released by the Chicago Police had no audio at all. However, a YouTube video with audio was uploaded and viewed by thousands. The veracity of this video is in question because the account name of “Daily News Hub” has no prior posts and only one Twitter profile tweet from 2014. Many in the public believe that a conspiracy to cover-up the shooting has been in place for over a year. This new information is sure to stir up feelings on both sides of the issue.