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.
Jurors reached a verdict Friday afternoon declaring Van Dyke guilty of killing black teenager LaQuan McDonald. Van Dyke was originally charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct.
With the second-degree murder conviction, Van Dyke faces 15 years or more, but there is also an option for probation. The 16 counts of aggravated battery carry sentences of six to 30 years per charge.
Jason Van Dyke killed 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald on the 4100 blocks of South Pulaski Road in Chicago, Illinois on October 20, 2014. Van Dyke approached the teenager who was carrying a knife but walking away from surrounding officers. It was reported an inbound officer was 25 seconds away with a taser, instead of Van Dyke unloaded 16 shots into the black teen, some of which came after he already laid on the ground.
ABC 7 Chicago reports during the trial the judge requested that for the focus of the jury to be on the number of shots fired. Opposing arguments during the trial focused on excessive force and unreasonable cause for shooting, specifically Van Dyke’s statement that a knife was raised in his direction. The defense built their counterargument around the video not being enough evidence to accurately depict the scenario for Van Dyke.
The jury’s deliberation lasted Thursday evening and Friday morning for a total of seven hours. The jury had eight men and four women, of those, seven were white, three Hispanic, one Asian-American and one African-American.
In preparation for the verdict, Chicago authorities made sure the full police force would be available resulting in an additional 4,000 officers throughout the city.
Members of the Chicago community have reacted toward the news, which you can see along with media coverage from local outlets and journalists below.
#VanDykeTrial jury finds Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke GUILTY of second degree murder and all 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in the shooting death of #LaquanMcdonald @TheJamTVShow @wciu
— Brandon Pope TV (@BpopeTV) October 5, 2018
Statement from Illinois FOP President Chris Southwood: "This is a day I never thought I'd see in America" pic.twitter.com/PQPbtbbnKG
— Matt Masterson (@ByMattMasterson) October 5, 2018
This story isn't just about Jason VanDyke. CPD blanketed the Loop with officers. Offices sent their workers home. A college campus was shutdown. Sports events were cancelled. All because the same sort of white fear that animated the shooting of LaQuan McDonald. #VanDykeTrial
— Ryan Smith (@RyanSmithWriter) October 5, 2018
16 shots and a cover up
Investigate Rahm Investigate McCarthy
— Dana Rebik (@DanaRebikWGN) October 5, 2018
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