Laquan McDonald’s family recalls slain Chicago teen as ‘jokester’

Posted at 3:24 PM, Dec 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-11 15:24:25-05

CHICAGO (AP) — A relative of the black teenager shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer remembers him as gentle, loving and fond of telling jokes.

The Rev. Marvin Hunter is a great uncle of Laquan McDonald, who was killed in October 2014. Video of the killing was released two weeks ago, setting off protests and calls for the mayor’s resignation.

Hunter told reporters Friday the 17-year-old was not a gang member, adding that McDonald “was a big boy, but he was a teddy bear.” He said he wished people would recognize that “dreads don’t mean dreadful.”

Hunter says the teen always greeted friends and family with a hug and was a “jokester.”

The city negotiated a $5 million settlement with the family. Hunter said the money that really matters should come in the form of government resources to foster economic development and keep such deaths from happening.