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Chicago police officer guilty of murder in black teen shooting

Chicago police officer guilty of murder in black teen shooting”

A look at some of the key players in the murder trial of Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who was convicted of second-degree murder Friday for fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, seconds after arriving on the scene, claiming he feared for his life as the 17-year-old had a knife.

The incident triggered months of protests in America's third largest city.

They promised to "shut it down" if jurors cleared Van Dyke in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

At some point during the confrontation, Officer Van Dyke opened fire, shooting the boy 16 times.

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This Oct. 5, 2018 photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago, Ill., shows Jason Van Dyke.

Even the staff of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration were given the option to call it a day before the verdict, as police-reform activists swiftly massed in front of City Hall.

"The people's cup has run over with these police violations of people's rights", he said. The police department has recommended firing officers for lying about McDonald's death, and three current or former officers were indicted past year on charges of conspiring to cover up what happened.

It makes ideal sense that Daniel Herbert should specialize in representing police officers in everything from civil rights lawsuits to divorce cases, and for arrests for crimes ranging from drunken driving to murder. When he set out on his own about eight years ago, he contracted with the police officer's union - a move that has led to a steady stream of cases defending police officers. Vic Mensa, who created the song "16 Shots" in dedication to McDonald's murder, also penned a message about the trial on Instagram.

To boost their contention that McDonald was risky, defense attorneys built a case against the teenager, who had been a ward of the state for most of his life and wound up in juvenile detention after an arrest for marijuana possession in January 2014. An autopsy would later show that McDonald, who was carrying a 3in-bladed knife, had the drug PCP in his system. Three officers, including Van Dyke's partner that night, have been charged with conspiring to cover up and lie about what happened to protect Van Dyke. No other officer on the scene fired their service weapons.

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Two alternative jurors who were dismissed from the trial on Thursday said they would have leaned toward finding the officer guilty of murder, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Justice Department launched an investigation, concluding in a scathing report previous year that the department violates the constitutional rights of residents.

Initially, Emanuel said that the U.S. Department of Justice should not investigate the CPD.

"Did you see any evidence that race had anything to do with this case?" he said. "Cases, such as Laquan McDonald, Mike Brown, Alton Sterling, [Sandra Bland] and Philando Castile are brutal illustrations on why we need a clear documentation of facts when citizen-encounters with police turn deadly".

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

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