Judge Won't Toss Murder Charges Against Cop Who Killed Laquan McDonald
By Stephen Gossett in News on May 25, 2017 6:25PM
Jason Van Dyke, 2015 / Getty Images
Defense attorneys seeking to dismiss first-degree murder charges former police offer Jason Van Dyke saw their petition denied by Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan on Thursday, according to reports.
Van Dyke is accused of murder in the infamous, fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. He faces six counts of murder in the first degree. Last March it was revealed that prosecutors had also hit Van Dyke with 16 counts of of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Several protesters reportedly gathered both outside and inside the courtroom on Thursday. There was a metal detector set up before the courtroom entrance; and one demonstrator, identified as Moises Bernal by DNAinfo, was held in contempt after snapping his fingers at the judge's decision. Tribune reporter Megan Crepeau tweeted details in the thread below:
Extra security for Jason Van Dyke hearing this am: attendees have to go through metal detectors at side door before they can enter courtroom— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) May 25, 2017
McDonald was shot 16 times on Oct. 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 and ultimately a yearlong investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bombshell results of that federal probe found that the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of using force—including use of deadly force—that violates the Constitution.