Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder in the Killing of Laquan McDonald

Laquan McDonald and Jason Van Dyke
Laquan McDonald and Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke (Source: CNN)
CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—October 5, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty today of second-degree murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was also found guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery.

Van Dyke sat impassively with his shoulders slumped as the verdicts were read in the high-profile case. At one point, he sipped water from a bottle. He was found not guilty of official misconduct.

Van Dyke’s bond was revoked and was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Sentencing is scheduled for October 31.

The jury of eight women and four men — seven white, one black, three Hispanic and one Asian — began deliberations Thursday afternoon.

The prosecution said Van Dyke fired unnecessarily within six seconds after arriving at the scene, striking McDonald 16 times.

The shooting was captured on a grainy police dashcam video. Van Dyke said he fired in self-defense after McDonald lunged at him with a knife. But the dashcam video — which a judge ordered the city to release 13 months after the shooting — showed McDonald walking away from police, rather than charging at them.

The city has been preparing for possible demonstrations in a high-profile case that already sparked protests.

“The Chicago Police Department has a comprehensive operating plan to ensure public safety in all of our neighborhoods while simultaneously protecting the rights of peaceful demonstrations,” police said.

Source: CNN