Chicago Officer Guilty Of 2nd Degree Murder In Death Of Laquan McDonald

Oct 5, 2018

Protest in Chicago, December 2015
Credit Daniel X. O'Neill / ccx2.0

A jury has convicted white Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke was charged with first degree-murder in the October 2014 killing, a charge that requires a finding that the shooting was unnecessary and unreasonable. The judge told jurors the second-degree charge was also available, requiring them to find Van Dyke believed his life was in danger but that the belief was unreasonable.

The jury announced the verdict Friday. It's the first time in half a century that a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder for an on-duty death.

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

Second-degree murder usually carries a sentence of less than 20 years.