Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty Of 2nd Degree Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting
A jury on Friday found Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Laquan McDonald.
In addition to being found guilty of second-degree murder, Van Dyke was also found guilty on 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. The jury did find Van Dyke not guilty, however, of a charge of official misconduct.
Although Van Dyke had actually been charged with first-degree murder, the jury was told that it could find him guilty of second-degree murder if jurors felt that it was a more appropriate charge.
Van Dyke in 2014 killed Laquan McDonald, a black Chicago teenager, when he shot at him 16 times. Although Van Dyke argued to the court that he was acting in self defense because McDonald was advancing on him, video evidence showed that McDonald was not moving toward Van Dyke at the time when the officer opened fire.
In particular, the video shows that the 17-year-old McDonald, who was carrying a knife on him at the time, was walking in a direction that was perpendicular to where Van Dyke was standing, not directly toward him.
Additionally, none of the other officers who were on the scene with Van Dyke in 2014 felt the need to fire their weapons, even after Van Dyke began discharging his own.