Thursday 18 July 2019

Police officer who killed black teenager in Chicago gets nearly seven years

Jason Van Dyke is the first officer in the city to be convicted over the killing of an African-American.

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke is escorted into the courtroom (Antonio Perez/AP)
Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke is escorted into the courtroom (Antonio Perez/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A US judge has sentenced former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke to nearly seven years in prison over the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Judge Vincent Gaughan’s sentence of six years and nine months in prison Friday came a day after another judge acquitted three other officers of trying to cover up the shooting to protect Van Dyke.

Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times, including after the 17-year-old was on the ground and barely moving.

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Tiffany Van Dyke, wife of former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke attends his sentencing hearing (Antonio Perez/AP)

A jury convicted him in October of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each shot.

The case went largely unnoticed until the city was forced to release police dashcam video 13 months after it happened.

The video sparked large protests and led to the ouster of Chicago’s top police official and some department reforms.

The 40-year-old Van Dyke is believed to be the first Chicago officer convicted in a fatal on-duty shooting of an African-American.

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