Sunday, 24 March, 2019


Officer Who Shot Laquan McDonald Charged With Second Degree Murder

Officer Who Shot Laquan McDonald Charged With Second Degree Murder Officer Who Shot Laquan McDonald Charged With Second Degree Murder
Bennie Garza | 06 October, 2018, 20:11

The Jason Van Dyke murder trial has concluded in Chicago and Van Dyke was found guilty on 16 charges of aggravated assault and one count of second-degree murder.

Although the jury found him not guilty of official misconduct Van Dyke is likely to spend at least six years in jail.

Chicago police released graphic video that captured the shooting death of Laquan McDonald on October 20, 2014 by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

The prosecution quickly countered that Van Dyke's account was not corroborated by video evidence of the shooting.

Rev. Marvin Hunter, the great uncle of Laquan McDonald, thanked activists, pastors, the jury, extended family and prosecutors involved in the case for their support over the past four years. Seven are white, three are Hispanic, one is Asian-American and one is African-American.

Gaughan said he wouldn't punish Van Dyke this time.

Police had answered a 911 call after McDonald was reportedly seen attempting to break into a truck.

Shortly after noon, word spread across the city that the racially charged trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke had almost reached its end. She said she was surprised but pleased with the sentence. The 16 counts are for every bullet he released into 17 year old Laquan McDonald.

Officers had McDonald largely surrounded on a city street and were waiting for someone to arrive with a stun gun to use on the teenager when Van Dyke arrived, according to testimony and video.

The city saw protests after video of the shooting was released in 2015, and activists have been planning how they might react to a verdict.

Ultimately, one juror said he decided Van Dyke "needed to contain the situation". Police officers worked to hide what happened on the scene, and in initial reports they stated that McDonald had lunged at them with his knife. They only wish it wasn't such an anomaly for police officers who use excessive force to be punished for their wrongdoing.

They also said he had exaggerated McDonald's actions that night to justify the fatal shooting.

The city paid out a multi-million-dollar settlement to McDonald's family, and Van Dyke was indicted for the shooting in December of 2015.

Before announcing last month that he would not seek re-election, Emanuel a year ago said the city would work toward a judicially enforced consent decree with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. McDonald wound up in juvenile detention after an arrest for marijuana possession in January 2014. Van Dyke, now 40, was just one of the 12,000 Chicago police officers who showed up to work, worked their shifts and went home to his wife, Tiffany, and their two school-age daughters.

Mr Van Dyke pleaded not guilty, with his defence arguing that had the teenager dropped his weapon, the officer would not have opened fire.

Video of the shooting led to protests, a Justice Department civil rights investigation, criticism of the mayor and, eventually, the ouster of the police superintendent.

Officials in Chicago had braced for potential unrest after the verdict, especially if jurors found Van Dyke not guilty.

A week before jury selection began, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would not seek a third term, although his office insisted the case had nothing to do with his decision.

"What we do know, what he (Van Dyke) did see, was a black boy walking down the street. having audacity to ignore the police", McMahon said.

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