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Jason Van Dyke Charged With 16 New Counts In Laquan McDonald Shooting

By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 23, 2017 5:16PM

Jason Van Dyke / Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke now faces 16 additional charges in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke, who still faces six counts of first-degree murder, was hit earlier this month by prosecutors with 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, according to reports.

Van Dyke fired 16 times at the unarmed, 17-year-old McDonald in October, 2014. So, the 16 counts would seem to correspond with number of shots he fired. The indictment with the additional counts was reached by a grand jury last week, but it was only made known when mentioned by prosecutor Joseph McMahon at court hearing on Thursday morning, according to the Sun-Times.

McDonald was shot 16 times on October, 20 2014; but video of the shooting wasn't released to the public until more than a year later, in November 2015, immediately prior to Van Dyke being charged. The video sparked a massive wave of public protest, demands for reform and a yearlong investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bombshell results of that federal probe determined that the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of using force—including use of deadly force—that violates the Constitution.

Van Dyke is due back in court on April 20.