Jason Van Dyke guilty of lesser murder charge in Laquan McDonald shooting

Van-Dyke

The shooting sparked widespread protests when dashcam footage, from a nearby auto, was released a year after the incident.

A South Side man was charged with threatening public officials inside the Leighton Criminal Court Building and over social media during the trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke, Chicago police said.

Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder today, but in an overwhelming number of cases in America, if a cop shoots someone because he's angry he's considered a murderer, while if he shoots someone because he's scared, he's innocent.

He was found not guilty of official misconduct, according to a live stream of the trial.

Judge Vincent Gaughan held a hearing Friday to consider revoking Van Dyke's bond.

The jury's decision will likely turn on whether they believe Van Dyke's testimony that he reasonably feared for his safety at the time.

In closing arguments, a prosecutor claimed Van Dyke showed no regard for the life of the black teenager while the defense portrayed him as a police veteran ensnared in a tragedy but not a murder. An ongoing Washington Post database has found that on-duty police officers fatally shoot just under 1,000 people each year. Police said he had slashed a tyre on a patrol auto, resulting in a stand-off between the teenager and officers.

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.

At the time of the deadly encounter, McDonald, then 17, was high on PCP and armed with a small knife.

What happened at the trial?

"[His] eyes were bugging out". He continued to be shot when he fell to the ground.

"I am excited", said Wilson, who is African-American and was born and raised in Chicago.

"It wasn't the knife in Laquan's hand that made the defendant kill him that night".

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Mr. Van Dyke was charged in 2015 when protests against police brutality were sweeping the nation, putting pressure on prosecutors to act.

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.

Van Dyke fired 16 shots in all, killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was holding a knife.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, in a joint statement, appealed for calm.

But the dashcam video - which a judge ordered the city to release 13 months after the shooting - showed McDonald walking away from police, rather than charging at them.

The clip resulted in mass protests, culminating with the dismissal of the police chief and a Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department's use of force.

"We're not anti-police", she said.

"I thought the officers were under attack", Van Dyke said.

"I'm glad they didn't just let him get away with it", said Armani Mitchell, a student at the charter school in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

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

It has placed officers on 12-hour shifts in anticipation of the trial's outcome.

The city has been on edge in advance of the verdict and city officials and business owners have beefed up security in expectation of protests.

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