It would appear that Van Dyke's sentencing is a change in the narrative, that hopefully leads to more accountability in the nation's police departments.
First-degree required a finding that Van Dyke's use of deadly force wasn't justified that it was both unnecessary and unreasonable. The video also disputed Van Dyke's claims that he shot at McDonald because he lunged at him with a knife.
McDonald's death in October 2014 - just weeks after a black teenager was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri - did not draw nationwide attention until, 13 months later, the court-ordered release of the police dashcam video. Van Dyke was originally charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and official misconduct, for his role in the shooting dead of black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014. It's possible that he was legitimately fearful when he shot the teen 16 times, as he and Laurence Miller-a Florida-based clinical psychologist-testified in the former police officer's defense.
A white police officer has been convicted of murdering a black teenager after firing 16 bullets into him during a confrontation.
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The verdict will be announced at 1:45 p.m.
Other officers have also been charged, accused of covering up the shooting.
Judge Vincent Gaughan told attorneys that the jurors asked Friday whether they should consider the 16 counts as they were listed on the medical examiner's report or just the "simple" number of shots fired. In order to appeal, his lawyers must file a motion for a new trial listing any issues they have with how the judge or jury handled the case.
Dash camera footage from one police vehicle would show that this description of the encounter was not true.
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The city paid out a multi-million-dollar settlement to McDonald's family, and Van Dyke was indicted for the shooting in December of 2015. Second-degree murder typically carries a sentence of less than 20 years, especially for someone with no criminal history.
As jurors began deliberating, the Chicago Police Department canceled days off and put officers on 12-hour shifts. He said the jury settled on second-degree murder because Van Dyke believed he was experiencing a real threat. He's been free on bond.
One said Van Dyke needed to "contain the situation, not escalate it". Police brutality and shooting cases have long brought unrest and protest into communities of color - a fact that suggests the city could reach a fever pitch if Van Dyke walks free. The city had expected protests to ensue should the verdict clear Van Dyke's name, though it looks like they'll only have to contend with celebrations now. Before the conviction Friday, only six non-federal police officers had been convicted of murder in such cases - and four of those were overturned - since 2005, according to data compiled by criminologist and Bowling Green State University professor Phil Stinson.
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Neither team celebrated the final whistle but they did not seem too dissatisfied either. This is impressive for such an expansive system which commits so many players forward.
After the footage was released in November 2015, Emanuel ousted his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, who later said he was a fall guy and is now running for mayor.