Updated: An On-Duty Chicago Cop Will Face Murder Charges For The First Time In 35 Years

By aaroncynic in News on Nov 24, 2015 4:47PM

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This Cook County medical examiner's office document shows the wounds to Laquan McDonald sustained when he was killed

Updated: 1:00 p.m.: Officer Jason Van Dyke was ordered held without bail at a bond hearing this afternoon.

For the first time in nearly 35 years, an on-duty Chicago Police officer has been charged with first degree murder. Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed 17 year-old Laquan McDonald, arrived at bond court early Tuesday morning to face a first degree murder charge, ABC7 reports.



Police were responding to reports of a man slashing tires in October of last year. Police allege that McDonald was found in the area with a small knife. Van Dyke fired a total of 16 rounds at McDonald, many of which struck him in the arms and back after the boy already hit the ground. Van Dyke has been on desk duty since the shooting.

"One individual needs to be held accountable," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Now that the judge has made the decision, the prosecutors need to wrap up their investigation so we can go as a city and begin the process of healing."

Dashcam footage of the shooting will reportedly be released Wednesday afternoon, after a judge ordered the release last week. The video is “deeply disturbing,” according to lawyers and others who have seen it. Emanuel and city officials held a closed-door meeting with pastors and some community activists yesterday to address rising concerns about what the reaction might be like after the release of the footage. Despite reluctance and opposition from the family, many have criticized the city for dragging its feet on making the video public.

"You had this tape for a year and you are only talking to us now because you need our help keeping things calm,” Reverend Corey Brooks, told WBEZ after the meeting.

Nearly all active duty police officers have been ordered to wear their uniforms for the time being. The Chicago Tribune’s Peter Nikeas reports officers have been warned of potential longer hours and shift changes, and tactical teams have been ordered to have riot gear on hand until November 29th.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has scheduled a press conference for 1:00 p.m. at the Cook County Administration Building.