Question of the Week: Should the journalist who revealed the Laquan McDonald police shooting be forced to reveal his sources?
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
Jamie Kalven is an independent journalist and activist who covers issues of race, poverty, police practices, and government corruption in his hometown of Chicago. In late 2014, he received a tip that the Chicago police were lying about the circumstances in the death of an African-American teenager, Laquan McDonald, on October 20, 2014. The police had reported that Mr. McDonald threatened the officers before he was killed. Mr. Kalven’s source told him that this was not the case—and that the autopsy report showed Mr. McDonald had been shot 16 times.
Mr. Kalven’s reporting eventually led the police superintendent and head of the Independent Police Review Authority to step down. Mayor Rahm Emanuel managed to hang onto his job, but barely. The Justice Department issued a scathing review of Chicago’s repeated violations of civil rights.
Now, the police officer charged with Mr. MacDonald’s murder, Jason Van Dyke, is trying to call Mr. Kalven to the stand, claiming he received leaked information from the Independent Police Review Authority and thus caused the evidence to be tainted. Mr. Kalven, in turn, has been steadfast that he will not reveal his sources.
What do you think? Should the journalist who revealed the Laquan McDonald police shooting be forced to reveal his sources?
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