Officer Jason Van Dyke has been found guilty of second-degree murder after fatally shooting African-American teen Laquan McDonald in 2014.
The jury read a verdict of aggravated assault for each of the 16 bullets he fired at McDonald in addition to the charge of murder in the second degree.
Van Dyke is the first officer in Chicago to stand trial for a murder while on duty in 50 years.
One of the case-clinching pieces of evidence was police dash cam video footage that showed Van Dyke firing at McDonald as he attempted to walk away from officers, posing absolutely no threat whatsoever.
Van Dyke shot McDonald in the neck, chest, back, right and left arms, right leg, and in the head, and continued to shoot even after the teenager fell to the ground.
Jody Gleason (Prosecutor): “Did you ever make a decision to stop shooting that night?
Jason Van Dyke: “Yes, I did.”
Gleason: “And when was that?”
Van Dyke: “Once I recognized that he hit the ground.”
Gleason: “Well, he hit the ground, and you continued to shoot, correct?”
Van Dyke: “On my approach, yes.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has come under sharp criticism for his delay in releasing the case-changing dash cam footage.
Sadly, while this singular incident of justice certainly deserves to be celebrated, we must keep in mind that hundreds if not thousands of African-American individuals — primarily males — are the victims of police brutality each year, and that many of their cases never make it to trial.
Iron Triangle Press continues to follow stories of police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.