Jury finds Chicago police officer guilty of murder in Laquan McDonald shooting

Jury finds Chicago police officer guilty of murder in Laquan McDonald shooting

Van Dyke, a Chicago police Officer, was taken into custody and photographed, after jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Oct. 5, in Chicago.

Van Dyke in 2014 killed Laquan McDonald, a black Chicago teenager, when he shot him 16 times.

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

Three other Chicago officers were charged last year with allegedly conspiring to cover up the fatal shooting, and they will be tried later this year. Seven are white, three are Hispanic, one is Asian-American and one is African-American.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi declined to provide additional information and would not say whom the threats were targeting, or if the threats are related to those received by Van Dyke's daughter on Thursday. Van Dyke stood up from the defense table and then put his arms behind his back as two deputies led him away. Daniel Herbert, a defense lawyer, told jurors the case was "a tragedy, but not a murder", and said McDonald would still be alive had he simply dropped the knife. The video, played repeatedly at trial, shows Van Dyke opening firing.

All of this was deemed necessary even though, as WBEZ's Natalie Moore noted on Twitter, there hasn't been a full-fledged riot in Chicago in 50 years, and while plenty of activists took to the streets after the 2015 release of the video showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald, the marches were overwhelmingly peaceful. He added: "It shows a perspective, but it's the wrong perspective". Jurors were told only that Walsh was testifying under "use immunity", meaning his testimony can't be used against him as long as he was truthful, but were never told about the allegations he faces.

Alison Albelda  Daily Senior Staffer Activists in downtown Chicago after Jason Van Dyke was found guilty for second-degree murder
Alison Albelda Daily Senior Staffer Activists in downtown Chicago after Jason Van Dyke was found guilty for second-degree murder

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

Several cases in the past few years - including the shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in New York; Tamir Rice in Cleveland; and Freddie Gray in Baltimore - have ended in disappointment for many in the black community, as white officers have gone unpunished in their deaths. McDonald was pronounced dead at hospital.

Herbert said there was no question the case is tragic but it did not amount to murder.

Justice is one step closer to being served. "You can use your common sense, ladies and gentlemen".

City officials and business owners beefed up security as the trial neared an end, while thousands of police officers were deployed to the streets.

A video of the incident, which was released more than a year after the shooting, sparked days of protests, led to the dismissal of the city's police superintendent and prompted sharp criticism of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The Justice Department investigated multiple police departments and found patterns of racial discrimination.

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