Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Officer Guilty of Second-Degree Murder in Laquan McDonald Killing

Officer Guilty of Second-Degree Murder in Laquan McDonald Killing

Officer Jason Van Dyke's conviction is the first time in 50 years that a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder for an on-duty death.

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.

In the aftermath of McDonald's death, three other police officers - including Van Dyke's partner on the night - were charged past year with attempting to cover up the shooting, to which they pleaded not guilty.

Police took someone into custody Friday and charges are pending.

Jurors found Van Dyke not guilty of official misconduct. That could mean Van Dyke is effectively sentenced only for second-degree murder, with its lower four-year mandatory minimum.

Mr Van Dyke has also been found guilty on all 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm - one count per shot fired.

"It provides validation and a sense of justice for many residents", he said.

Surveillance footage of the incident showed Van Dyke appeared to shoot McDonald while the younger man was walking away from the officer.

Andrew Stroth said an acquittal would have sent the opposite message, dashing hopes for change.

Gleason told jurors that while police officers are allowed to use deadly force in some circumstances, this was not one of them. Ross was processed and released, police said.

'This is a victory for America, ' said Laquan's great-uncle and family spokesman Marvin Hunter.

First-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former White House chief of staff, faced calls for his resignation amid claims that he covered up the dashcam video until after he was re-elected. "That's actually what may have got him from first-degree murder to second-degree".

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Van Dyke faces at least 15 years for the murder conviction and between six and 30 years for each of the 16 aggravated battery charges. "He had to testify", Miller said.

Before the shooting, Jason Van Dyke never saw his name in the paper.

Judge Vincent Gaughan will then decide whether to grant Van Dyke a new trial, but Miller doubts that will happen.

Van Dyke fired all the bullets in his gun and began to reload when another officer intervened and told him the situation was under control. Police confronted the teen and warned him to drop the weapon.

Separately, police continue to investigate another threat that involved Van Dyke's daughter. But Mr. Greenberg said judges nearly always order defendants to serve such sentences simultaneously. "You've seen it on video. He made it up".

But Van Dyke and his attorneys maintained that the video didn't tell the whole story.

His attorneys portrayed the officer as being scared by the young man who he knew had already punctured a tire of a squad auto with the knife. But the officer maintained the rest of his account.

"It shows a perspective, but not the right perspective", he said.

Van Dyke was officially charged with murder, but he wasn't the only person with blood on his hands.

To boost their contention that McDonald was unsafe, defense attorneys built a case against the teenager, who had been a ward of the state for most of his life and wound up in juvenile detention after an arrest for marijuana possession.

At some point during the confrontation, Officer Van Dyke opened fire, shooting the boy 16 times. They have all pleaded not guilty. "But being able to start sending a message to law enforcement that they are not above the law is important". It also led to a Justice Department investigation that found a "pervasive cover-up culture" and prompted plans for far-reaching police reforms. Emanuel later announced he would not seek a third term.

The city has been preparing for possible demonstrations in a case that already sparked protests. "Should this occur, it may create potentially risky situations around the city". Many corporate offices in the city either told their employees to stay home or told them to leave early as soon as a verdict was reached. Another juror, a black woman, said race did not factor in their deliberations in the racially charged case.

Special prosecutor Joseph McMahon immediately asked the judge to revoke Van Dyke's bond and jail him after the Friday afternoon verdict.

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