A Cop Who Has Been Arrested Of Killing A Black Teenager is Facing New Charges
A police officer who was charged with six counts of first-degree murder of the shooting incident of a black teenager in 2014 is now facing 16 new counts of aggravated battery.
Jason Van Dyke, a Chicago Police Officer, who has been accused of killing a black teenager, LaQuan McDonald, 17-years old, was initially indicted in 2015 in a case that sparked nationwide protest over the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.
Van Dyke now faces additional 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, with the new charges apparently corresponding to each shot he fired at McDonald. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Dan Herbert, during a hearing in Cook County on Thursday. Van Dyke’s next court appearance will be April 20.
The video footage of the McDonlad being shot was released more than a year later, sparking protests and pushing the city into a national debate over police use of force, particularly in minority communities. Video of the shooting contradicted nearly everything police said happened the night McDonald died in October 2014 which also led to the ouster of the police chief.
Video shows that McDonald was walking away from police officers when Van Dyke jumped out of his vehicle, firing at McDonald which dropped him to the ground.
Van Dyke continued firing at the victim even after he was on the ground and video appears the body of the victim getting hit by bullets. Autopsy results shows that the victim was hit 16 times.
Van Dyke said he opened fire after McDonald lunged at him, “swinging the knife in an aggressive, exaggerated manner,” and ignored the officer’s orders to drop the knife. He said McDonald continued to grasp the knife, pointing it at Van Dyke as tried to get up from the ground.
Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General recommended 11 of the 15 officers involved in the incident be discharged.
In addition to the six counts of first-degree murder, Van Dyke is charged with one count of official misconduct. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.
The shooting led to reforms and fueled a national conversation about police use of deadly force.