Prosecutors, Officer Jason Van Dyke Opened Fire as McDonald Walked Away

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COOK-COUNTY prosecutors said in court Tuesday that a Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder opened fire six seconds after exiting his squad car as 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was walking away from him.

Officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 rounds at McDonald in about 14 seconds and was reloading when another officer told him to hold his fire, prosecutors said in bond court.

Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Van Dyke held without bail until the judge can view on Monday a police dash-cam video of the shooting in October 2014.

“I believe it’s pertinent for a bond hearing,” Panarese said of the video. “I’m sorry, but I’m holding you no bail until Monday.”

Clad in a brown sweatshirt, a white shirt and bluejeans, Van Dyke showed no emotion as he was led from the courtroom in custody.

Prosecutors sought to have the veteran officer held without bail until his trial. But Van Dyke’s lawyer, Daniel Herbert, objected, saying the officer was not a risk to flee.

“We believe we have a valid defense in this case,” Herbert said.

Herbert said Van Dyke’s wife will be turning over his gun to the Police Department.

After the court session, Herbert told reporters, “Despite what you heard in that courtroom, this is not a murder case.”

Van Dyke, 37, turned himself in to state’s attorney’s investigators at 7:41 a.m. Tuesday in their offices at the criminal courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue, booking records show. As he arrived, Van Dyke kept his hands in his jeans pockets, looked straight ahead and did not answer questions from reporters as he walked briskly into the Leighton Criminal Court Building with his attorney.

Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of McDonald “without legal justification and with the intent to kill or do great bodily harm,” according to the one-page criminal complaint filed against him. Continue Reading

Article Org: chicagotribune.com

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