White US cop convicted of murder of black teen

The city of Chicago has joined 19 other local governments in a legal brief supporting Planned Parenthood's challenge of federal changes to funding requirements. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Sept. 13 2018 that Chicago joined in a friend-of-the-cou

The city of Chicago has joined 19 other local governments in a legal brief supporting Planned Parenthood's challenge of federal changes to funding requirements. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Sept. 13 2018 that Chicago joined in a friend-of-the-cou

CHICAGO - Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, was found guilty of second-degree murder on Friday, almost four years after he shot and killed Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old holding a knife.

Van Dyke, a Chicago police Officer, was taken into custody and photographed, after jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Oct. 5, in Chicago.

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson called the verdict a "small sign of progress" in Chicago, which leads the nation's largest cities in police-involved killings. The slaying was captured on police video that showed the knife-wielding teen appearing to walk away from officers when he was shot.

In closing arguments, a prosecutor said Van Dyke showed no regard for the life of the black teenager, while the defense portrayed him as a police veteran ensnared in a tragedy but not a murder. Van Dyke, now 40, was just one of the 12,000 Chicago police officers who showed up to work, worked their shifts and went home to his wife, Tiffany, and their two school-age daughters.

Since the report's publication, the city has seen a new police superintendent take charge, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced that he is not seeking re-election. Moreover, the police union released a false statement claiming that McDonald was moving in the direction of police before being shot.

It makes flawless sense that Daniel Herbert should specialize in representing police officers in everything from civil rights lawsuits to divorce cases, and for arrests for crimes ranging from drunken driving to murder.

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Before Judge Vincent Gaughan dismissed them for the day Thursday evening, jurors requested a transcript of testimony from former Officer Joseph Walsh, Van Dyke's partner the night of McDonald's death. "If the jurors hadn't convicted Van Dyke, it would have been an outrage, but it would have been a familiar outrage".

To boost their contention that McDonald was unsafe, defense attorneys built a case against the teenager, who had been a ward of the state for most of his life and wound up in juvenile detention after an arrest for marijuana possession. Though he was never disciplined, a jury did once award $350,000 to a man who filed an excessive force lawsuit against him. PCP, known as Phencyclidine, is a dissociative hallucinogenic drug known to trigger outbursts of violence in users.

Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly stated that Van Dyke was handcuffed as he was led from the courtroom. They have all pleaded not guilty. None of the other officers on the scene fired their weapons.

The Justice Department launched an investigation, concluding in a scathing report a year ago that the department violates the constitutional rights of residents. It also led to a Justice Department investigation that found a "pervasive cover-up culture" and prompted plans for far-reaching police reforms. "Should this occur, it may create potentially risky situations around the city".

The head of Chicago's police union, which funded Van Dyke's defence, has promised an appeal and slammed the jury for 'punishing an officer for doing his job'. Another juror, a black woman, said race did not factor in their deliberations in the racially charged case.

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