Judge to decide if police officer’s trial stays in Chicago

Remigio Civitarese
Сентября 19, 2018

He said McDonald had stabbed the tire of the squad auto his partner was driving and struck the window with the knife.

She was in the street when McDonald was on the ground as Van Dyke kept firing.

McDonald was "planning to attack" again, Herbert said.

"He shot him... not once, not twice, but three, four, five, six seven, eight - he's only halfway done - nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 times in total", special prosecutor Joseph McMahon told jurors, rapping his knuckles on a lectern each time he said a number.

Fontaine testified under a grant of immunity.

The trial of a Chicago police officer facing murder charges in the shooting of a black teen shines a spotlight on a troubled force that has been accused of racial bias, excessive force and a code of silence.

The video of the October 20, 2014, shooting is so central to the murder trial of white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke that jurors watched it at least five times during the first day of testimony Monday - the first time just 15 minutes into opening statements.

Van Dyke, now 40, opted for a jury trial on Friday following the selection of a 12-person jury and five alternate jurors.

At one point during testimony, prosecutors stopped the video just as McDonald was shot and then as he lay on the ground. Prosecutors say the shooting was "completely unnecessary". Prosecutors on Monday dropped four counts of first-degree murder, but Van Dyke still faces two first-degree murder counts.

Van Dyke's lead attorney countered that the officer was confronting an "out-of-control individual who didn't care about anyone".

Officer Joseph McElligott said he got within 15 feet of McDonald, the same distance Van Dyke was when he shot the teen. He says McDonald also stabbed the tire of the squad vehicle his partner was driving and struck the window with the knife.

McElligott never fired his gun, although he did at one point have it drawn. He said they were waiting for an officer to arrive with a Taser to use on McDonald. "He is a scared police officer who was fearful for his life and the life of others and acted as he was trained to do".

Van Dyke, who was suspended without pay after he was first charged in 2015, pleaded not guilty to murder and has said he felt threatened by McDonald. Attorneys made opening statements Monday in Van Dyke's murder trial for the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

The video, released by the city more than a year after the shooting in response to a freedom of information lawsuit, sparked days of protests in Chicago.

Van Dyke is the the first Chicago police officer to face a murder charge for an on-duty incident in almost five decades, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He was carrying a small knife.

Herbert painted a picture of McDonald as a crazed young man who had attacked a truck driver and a squad vehicle and had tried to get into two restaurants.

Jurors watched a new video depicting a slow-paced pursuit of Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke opened fire within six seconds of exiting his police vehicle, he told jurors.

The defense is set to make its opening statement after prosecutors finish theirs.

If Judge Vincent Gaughan on Monday rejects a defense motion for a change of venue, the Cook County sheriff's office has seating procedures for the trial.

But attorneys were able to select a jury in less than a week. Opening statements were expected later on Monday.

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