Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

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Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#1 Post by TrueTexan » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald while on duty, was found guilty on Friday.

A Cook County jury convicted Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder, as well as 16 counts of aggravated battery ― one for each bullet he fired into McDonald, 17. He was acquitted of official misconduct, and a charge of first-degree murder was vacated for the second-degree conviction.

Judge Vincent Gaughan revoked bail and ordered Van Dyke taken into custody to await sentencing later this month. The officer faces up to 20 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge, and each aggravated battery charge carries a maximum sentence of six to 30 years.

The jury deliberated for less than eight hours over two days in the case, in which Van Dyke faced the possibility of life in prison for shooting McDonald on a Chicago street in October 2014 ― much of the confrontation captured on a police car dashcam.

Van Dyke showed little emotion as the verdict was read by the foreman of the jury, which consisted of eight women and four men. He was promptly led out of the courtroom after the verdict.

Chicago police were on high alert as the city prepared for the verdict in the rare trial of an officer accused of murder for an on-duty killing. Hundreds of police were seen packing street corners and city parks. Jurors, who deliberated for five hours on Thursday and about 2 1/2 more on Friday, were sequestered by Judge Vincent Gaughan and kept at an unidentified hotel overnight.

Protesters and police had reportedly surrounded the courthouse before the verdict was read. There were reports that some workplaces allowed employees to go home early, and that some Chicago schools were on “soft lockdown” or let students go home in preparation for anticipated protests.

During the trial, Van Dyke testified in his own defense that he feared for his life and that McDonald was behaving erratically (an autopsy revealed PCP in his system). His defense team cited a state law that allows officers to use deadly force if it’s necessary to stop a fleeing suspect who has committed a felony while using a deadly weapon, according to Vice News. McDonald was carrying a knife at the time, but the dashboard camera footage refuted Van Dyke’s claim that the teen was aggressively swinging the blade at him.

Three other officers await trial on charges of trying to cover up the killing and obscure the investigation.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ch ... 70d050c9c4

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#2 Post by featureless » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:51 pm

Yup. Can't just go around shooting people. Not even cops can.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#3 Post by highdesert » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:49 pm

Seven and a half hours, long deliberation. Still trials ahead for cops charged with interfering with the investigation. The NYT link has video of the jury verdict being read out shot by shot.
Jurors also convicted Officer Van Dyke on 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for every shot he fired at Laquan.
Several jurors, who did not give their names, spoke to reporters in the courtroom after the verdict was announced. One said acquittal was never on the table, and that the main debate was whether to convict on first- or second-degree murder.
When the footage was finally released under court order, outraged protesters marched for weeks, chanting “16 shots and a cover-up.” The police superintendent [police chief] was fired. The county prosecutor lost her re-election bid. The Police Department tightened rules for when officers can shoot and outfitted all patrol officers with body cameras and Tasers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/05/us/v ... onald.html
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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#4 Post by Eris » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:27 pm

This is an unexpected, but welcome result.
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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#5 Post by bpetrigger » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm

Not trying to justify 16 rounds (and especially over 14 seconds), but this case isn't as simple as it appears. To wit ...

720 ILCS 5/7-5 Peace officer's use of force in making arrest:
(a) A peace officer ... is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that: (1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.

You try being a cop in Englewood, Austin, or so many other other high crime areas of Chicago. Not an easy job, especially these days.
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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#6 Post by danhue » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:00 am

bpetrigger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm
How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.
McDonald was not "approaching rapidly", he was walking away. Also Van Dyke took no time to try to assess the situation. You can see him getting out of the car right after it stopped and immediately empty his magazine into the kid.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#7 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:48 am

I disagree with the statement that 7 1/2 hours was a long time to take to reach a verdict. This is determining the fate of another person and should be given full and careful evaluation, even if it seems obvious that he's guilty as hell.

Plus the charges are a bit confusing as they had to decide between 1st and 2nd degree homicide, and, additionally, each round fired conveyed another aggravated battery charge, which I don't get. I'd want to parse the judge's instructions very, VERY carefully to be certain I understood them before weighing the evidence and deciding on the multiple verdicts.
So by my count that's 18 charges and they spent, on average, 25 minutes considering each charge. 1st degree is life, 2nd degree is 20 years, and each round fired is 6 to 30 years.

Considering that 7 1/2 hours at 25 minutes per charge seems almost perfunctory to me. Of course it shouldn't be inferred that I think for one second the jury was not thorough or incorrect in its findings.
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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#8 Post by BKinzey » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:14 pm

bpetrigger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm
Not trying to justify 16 rounds (and especially over 14 seconds), but this case isn't as simple as it appears. To wit ...

720 ILCS 5/7-5 Peace officer's use of force in making arrest:
(a) A peace officer ... is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that: (1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.

You try being a cop in Englewood, Austin, or so many other other high crime areas of Chicago. Not an easy job, especially these days.
Easy.

After the suspect falls to the ground you re-assess the situation. In the video Macdonald ceases to be a threat to anyone after hitting the ground. He falls like a sack of potatoes. There is no longer an immediate danger. Macdonald is on the ground and moving very little. Certainly some, if not all, movement can be attributed to his being shot multiple times.

If you want to know exactly when Macdonald stopped being a threat you'll need more information, but it is obvious in this video Macdonald is being shot multiple times after ceasing to be a threat.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#9 Post by highdesert » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:06 pm

First-degree murder carries a sentence of 20 years to life. The jury was able to consider second-degree murder, a sentence which varies widely from probation up to 20 years. Second-degree murder is considered to be a first-degree murder with a mitigating factor, the judge explained before the foreman read the jury's verdict.

First-degree murder requires a finding that the shooting was unnecessary and unreasonable. The judge told jurors the second-degree charge required them to find Van Dyke believed his life was in danger, but that the belief was unreasonable. Aggravated battery with a firearm carries a sentence of six to 30 years per charge.

"We considered the mitigating factor of how he perceived his actions, of the imminent and the escalating risk, and why he took that action. But we did decide that taking the action was unreasonable. But we did consider what he thought when he was taking that action," one juror said.
Van Dyke claimed he opened fire on the teen, who was holding a small knife, because he feared for his life and continued to fire after McDonald was on the ground because he believed he was still a threat. Prosecutors have argued that each shot was a crime and robbed McDonald of the chance of survival.
https://abc7chicago.com/jason-van-dyke- ... -/4417237/

Sentencing next and off to the IL appellate court. Van Dyke's lawyers will probably challenge the 16 counts of aggravated assault.
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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#10 Post by highdesert » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:35 am

The father and son who were critical witnesses for the prosecution - Jose and Xavier Torres.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-laq ... story.html
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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#11 Post by NegativeApproach » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:29 pm

bpetrigger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm
Not trying to justify 16 rounds (and especially over 14 seconds), but this case isn't as simple as it appears. To wit ...

720 ILCS 5/7-5 Peace officer's use of force in making arrest:
(a) A peace officer ... is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that: (1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.

You try being a cop in Englewood, Austin, or so many other other high crime areas of Chicago. Not an easy job, especially these days.
This.

Legally, Van Dyke should have been acquitted. Personally, I think he's a murderer, but you can't go and apply the law differently than what it's written.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#12 Post by Bang » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm

NegativeApproach wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:29 pm
bpetrigger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm
Not trying to justify 16 rounds (and especially over 14 seconds), but this case isn't as simple as it appears. To wit ...

720 ILCS 5/7-5 Peace officer's use of force in making arrest:
(a) A peace officer ... is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that: (1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.

You try being a cop in Englewood, Austin, or so many other other high crime areas of Chicago. Not an easy job, especially these days.
This.

Legally, Van Dyke should have been acquitted. Personally, I think he's a murderer, but you can't go and apply the law differently than what it's written.
I'm wondering if you watched the video? Jumping out of your car and unloading a magazine on someone isn't something we should be allowing police to do.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#13 Post by NegativeApproach » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 pm

Bang wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm
NegativeApproach wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:29 pm
bpetrigger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm
Not trying to justify 16 rounds (and especially over 14 seconds), but this case isn't as simple as it appears. To wit ...

720 ILCS 5/7-5 Peace officer's use of force in making arrest:
(a) A peace officer ... is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that: (1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.

You try being a cop in Englewood, Austin, or so many other other high crime areas of Chicago. Not an easy job, especially these days.
This.

Legally, Van Dyke should have been acquitted. Personally, I think he's a murderer, but you can't go and apply the law differently than what it's written.
I'm wondering if you watched the video? Jumping out of your car and unloading a magazine on someone isn't something we should be allowing police to do.
Unfortunately, the way the law is currently written for use of force by a police officer, he should have been found not-guilty because the law states that he was legally fine with what he did. The 16 "battery" charges were also a bad precedent. If that becomes common practice, those same things could happen in a good shoot to a CCL holder.

The law needs to be re-written, but the guilty verdict sets a bad precedent IMHO. Not because he didn't murder the guy, but because the law was interpreted very loosely to convict him.

This was a bad shoot. No doubt about it. He should have been fired, and I think he should have his pension removed. But I don't agree with the guilty verdict, because of the way the law is written. Re-write the law to disallow cops from using lethal force so haphazardly. That's the solution here.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#14 Post by BKinzey » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:35 pm

NegativeApproach wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 pm
Bang wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm
NegativeApproach wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:29 pm
bpetrigger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 pm
Not trying to justify 16 rounds (and especially over 14 seconds), but this case isn't as simple as it appears. To wit ...

720 ILCS 5/7-5 Peace officer's use of force in making arrest:
(a) A peace officer ... is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that: (1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.

How does a cop communicate with or handle someone high on PCP, armed with a knife, within 21 feet and approaching rapidly, who's already committed a forcible felony. There's a plethora of other facts and factors that, unfortunately, neither the jury nor the public witnessed or understood.

You try being a cop in Englewood, Austin, or so many other other high crime areas of Chicago. Not an easy job, especially these days.
This.

Legally, Van Dyke should have been acquitted. Personally, I think he's a murderer, but you can't go and apply the law differently than what it's written.
I'm wondering if you watched the video? Jumping out of your car and unloading a magazine on someone isn't something we should be allowing police to do.
Unfortunately, the way the law is currently written for use of force by a police officer, he should have been found not-guilty because the law states that he was legally fine with what he did. The 16 "battery" charges were also a bad precedent. If that becomes common practice, those same things could happen in a good shoot to a CCL holder.

The law needs to be re-written, but the guilty verdict sets a bad precedent IMHO. Not because he didn't murder the guy, but because the law was interpreted very loosely to convict him.

This was a bad shoot. No doubt about it. He should have been fired, and I think he should have his pension removed. But I don't agree with the guilty verdict, because of the way the law is written. Re-write the law to disallow cops from using lethal force so haphazardly. That's the solution here.
I don't think that law you quoted means what you say it means.

It says the officer's actions must be reasonable. What the officer did wasn't reasonable.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#15 Post by NegativeApproach » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:14 pm

BKinzey wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:35 pm
NegativeApproach wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 pm
Bang wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm
NegativeApproach wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:29 pm


This.

Legally, Van Dyke should have been acquitted. Personally, I think he's a murderer, but you can't go and apply the law differently than what it's written.
I'm wondering if you watched the video? Jumping out of your car and unloading a magazine on someone isn't something we should be allowing police to do.
Unfortunately, the way the law is currently written for use of force by a police officer, he should have been found not-guilty because the law states that he was legally fine with what he did. The 16 "battery" charges were also a bad precedent. If that becomes common practice, those same things could happen in a good shoot to a CCL holder.

The law needs to be re-written, but the guilty verdict sets a bad precedent IMHO. Not because he didn't murder the guy, but because the law was interpreted very loosely to convict him.

This was a bad shoot. No doubt about it. He should have been fired, and I think he should have his pension removed. But I don't agree with the guilty verdict, because of the way the law is written. Re-write the law to disallow cops from using lethal force so haphazardly. That's the solution here.
I don't think that law you quoted means what you say it means.

It says the officer's actions must be reasonable. What the officer did wasn't reasonable.
The law as written allowed him to use deadly force in this situation. I don't agree with it. The law needs to be changed.

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Re: Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke Guilty Of Murder In Laquan McDonald Shooting

#16 Post by BKinzey » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:00 pm

NegativeApproach wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:14 pm
BKinzey wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:35 pm
NegativeApproach wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 pm
Bang wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm


I'm wondering if you watched the video? Jumping out of your car and unloading a magazine on someone isn't something we should be allowing police to do.
Unfortunately, the way the law is currently written for use of force by a police officer, he should have been found not-guilty because the law states that he was legally fine with what he did. The 16 "battery" charges were also a bad precedent. If that becomes common practice, those same things could happen in a good shoot to a CCL holder.

The law needs to be re-written, but the guilty verdict sets a bad precedent IMHO. Not because he didn't murder the guy, but because the law was interpreted very loosely to convict him.

This was a bad shoot. No doubt about it. He should have been fired, and I think he should have his pension removed. But I don't agree with the guilty verdict, because of the way the law is written. Re-write the law to disallow cops from using lethal force so haphazardly. That's the solution here.
I don't think that law you quoted means what you say it means.

It says the officer's actions must be reasonable. What the officer did wasn't reasonable.
The law as written allowed him to use deadly force in this situation. I don't agree with it. The law needs to be changed.
The law states his actions must be reasonable, it doesn't state the officer is the arbitrator of what is reasonable. The officer can state they were in fear of their life but it is up to others to decide if that fear was reasonable. It's questionable if it was reasonable for the officer to fire at all. Certainly it was unreasonable to continue to fire at the near motionless body on the ground.

Since the jury found him guilty of a crime for each round fired I'd say they didn't think it was reasonable for the officer to fire at all.

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