Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Key players in trial of Chicago cop who killed black teen

Key players in trial of Chicago cop who killed black teen

Shortly before 2 p.m., over a live news feed from the courtroom, the jury announced they found Van Dyke guilty for second degree murder and guilty on 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each of the 16 shots that killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, seconds after arriving on the scene, claiming he feared for his life as the 17-year-old had a knife.

The shooting triggered widespread protests in Chicago, a city already struggling with soaring murder rates.

McDonald was carrying a small knife with its blade folded, but a police video capturing the incident showed the teenager appearing to walk away from police when he was shot.

Van Dyke, 40, was the first Chicago police officer to be charged with first-degree murder since 1980.

Three other officers await trial on charges of trying to cover up the killing and obscure the investigation. She noted that Van Dyke told detectives that McDonald raised the knife, that Van Dyke backpedaled, and that McDonald tried to get up off the ground after being shot.

Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder today, but in an overwhelming number of cases in America, if a cop shoots someone because he's angry he's considered a murderer, while if he shoots someone because he's scared, he's innocent. "His face was just expressionless", Van Dyke said in testimony earlier this week. The judge told jurors the second-degree charge was also available, requiring them to find Van Dyke believed his life was in danger but that the belief was unreasonable.

"We have to look at this from Jason Van Dyke's perspective", he said. "This is an emotional time for our city, and many activists are calling for people to take to the streets regardless of the outcome of the trial", Principal Brianna Latko wrote in a letter according to the Chicago Tribune. Van Dyke was found not guilty of official misconduct.

More news: California's tough net neutrality bill prompts U.S. lawsuit

"My focus was just on that knife", Mr. Van Dyke testified on the stand. The jury also had the option of first degree-murder, which required finding that the shooting was unnecessary and unreasonable.

Van Dyke must serve 85 percent of whatever sentence the judge sets before being eligible for parole.

Called The Laquan McDonald Camera Act if the bill is passed, any law enforcement agency that does not comply with the dash cam policy is taxed 10 percent of federal funding unless certification is provided to the U.S. Attorney General.

The crowd frequently chanted "guilty" as they would stop at major intersections and in front of Trump Tower along the way north of the Chicago River on Michigan Ave.

Yesterday, as the Van Dyke case jury began deliberations, a judge unsealed internal police documents detailing the efforts to shield the officer, which included another officer saying a detective had ordered him or her to submit an incident report with false information to hide what had actually happened on scene. Advocates hope that the right verdict will come in Van Dyke's trial.

Schools and businesses braced for potential unrest, and people across the city paused in the middle of the day to listen for the jury's decision.

Judge Vincent Gaughan revoked bail and ordered Van Dyke taken into custody to await sentencing later this month.

Like this: