Jason Van Dyke Sentenced to Six Years for the Shooting of Laquan McDonald

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Van Dyke After being convicted for second-degree murder, former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke receives a sentence of six years and nine months in prison, according to Vox on Jan. 18, 2019. He was found guilty in October 2018 for the killing of Laquan McDonald in 2014.

He could be released from prison before serving the full term due to sentencing laws in Illinois.

On the night of Oct. 20, 2014, Van Dyke shot McDonald, a black 17-year-old youth, 16 times after responding to calls for assistance. The former-officer claimed McDonald failed to comply with demands and he fired because the youth making threatening moves toward him.

After a string of lawsuits and a judge’s orders to release the dashcam footage of the shooting. It took city officials a year to release the video.

The footage contradicted Van Dyke’s account showing that McDonald appears to be moving away from the police when he was shot.

Van Dyke was found guilty, last October of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, That is one count for each time he fired at McDonald.

Police violence fueled national discussions about race and police shootings of black Americans in recent years.

For Chicago residents, the sentencing is likely to cause for a larger demand for political change in the city, and possibly an end to what experts and activist call a Code of Silence that keeps Chicago officers shielded from punishment.

Van Dyke sentencing was amplified on Thursday, January 17, when Chicago officers were acquitted of charges against them for covering up the McDonald’s shooting, as well as filing false police reports backing up Van Dyke’s account.

Cook County Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson ruled that prosecutors could not prove that the report was the result of a conspiracy, saying” that it was wrong to rely on the dash cam footage of the shooting and dismiss the officers’ perception of what happened.” Last year, a similar argument did not convince a jury to acquit VanDyke.

Written By Leon Murray
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


Vox: Former officer Jason Van Dyke sentenced to 6 years for Laquan McDonald shooting

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Iventorchris’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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