Twitter Reacts To Jason Van Dyke’s Guilty Verdict Over Laquan McDonald Killing

Twitter Reacts To Jason Van Dyke’s Guilty Verdict Over Laquan McDonald Killing

Mr Van Dyke has also been found guilty on all 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm - one count per shot fired.

But a legal expert explained that the 40-year-old Van Dyke is likely looking at less than 10 years in prison for killing the teen rather than many decades because jurors opted to convict him of second- and not first-degree murder.

Van Dyke is the first Chicago police officer to be charged with first-degree murder since 1980.

The shooting of McDonald happened in October 2014 but did not gain widespread notoriety until the video of his final moments was released by court order in 2015, the same day officer Jason Van Dyke was charged.

In closing arguments, a prosecutor said 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.

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

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.

The diverse panel - seven white, one black, three Hispanic, and one Asian - began their deliberations Thursday afternoon on a case that rankled the Windy City after video of the shooting was made public.

McDonald eventually fled to a Burger King parking lot and then into a nearby street, which is where Van Dyke and his partner arrived. He pleaded not guilty. Police said he had slashed a tyre on a patrol auto, resulting in a stand-off between the teenager and officers. One of the only instances was during opening statements, when special prosecutor Joseph McMahon told the jurors that Van Dyke didn't know anything about McDonald's past when he encountered him that night.

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"I shot him", he said.

"When the verdict came down, I'm a preacher, but I'm a human being". Even though St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with manslaughter and unsafe discharge of a weapon in Philando's death, a jury acquitted Yanez of all charges. Police officers worked to hide what happened on the scene, and in initial reports they stated that McDonald had lunged at them with his knife. "I still see him holding that knife with his right hand, not letting go of it".

The verdict was the latest chapter in a story that accelerated soon after a judge ordered the release of the video in November 2015. A Justice Department investigation carried out in 2016 and 2017 found that the Chicago Police Department routinely used excessive force, often against the city's black and latino communities.

But prosecutors say it's the right result and justice has been done.

In September, ahead of Mr Van Dyke's trial, Mayor Emanuel announced he would not run for re-election.

Groups of demonstrators took to the streets for several hours after the verdict, chanting, "The people united will never be defeated", and "Sixteen shots and a cover up".

The verdict will be announced at 1:45 p.m.

The Chicago Police Department has been planning for the verdict for months alongside community leaders.

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago issued an alert to members stating "it is reasonable to expect that the verdict may prompt additional protest activity". He added: "It shows a perspective, but it's the wrong perspective". They gathered in front of the mayor's home, on Lake Shore Drive and even on two lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway to call attention to police reform and what they charged was a cover-up from city hall.

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