UPDATED 5:15 p.m. EDT — A Chicago police officer who was at the scene of the shooting delivered damaging testimony Monday against the fellow officer on trial for killing a Black teenager, Washington Post reported.
Prosecutors played video that showed Officer Dora Fontaine climbing out of her squad car before Officer Jason Van Dyke fired his gun 16 times at Laquan McDonald.
Fontaine testified that she never saw McDonald attack, charge or raise his arm toward any of the officers at the scene. In fact, the teenager was walking away from the cops when Van Dyke opened fire. After McDonald fell to the ground from the first round of shots, Van Dyke kept firing. She recalled seeing smoke from the bullets coming off McDonald’s body.
Prosecutors granted Fontaine immunity. Several other officers at the scene have been charged with trying to cover-up exactly what happened to protect Van Dyke.
UPDATED 2:12 p.m. EDT — Defense attorneys continued to spar with prosecutors during opening statements on Monday in Chicago during the murder trial of former police officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot a Black teenager 16 times in an apparent case of brutality and department-wide corruption.
A series of witnesses took the stand before the court broke for lunch in the afternoon, with police witnesses defending Van Dyke and witnesses for the prosecution insisting that LaQuan McDonald didn’t pose enough of a threat to warrant being shot, let alone 16 times.
UPDATED 12:55 p.m. EDT — The jury was shown the video of the shooting, after which special prosecutor Joseph McMahon told jurors that “not a single shot was necessary or justified,” the Associated Press reported.
UPDATED 12:07 p.m. EDT — Jason Van Dyke‘s defense attorney was trying to paint a picture of Laquan McDonald as an aggressor who wanted a confrontation with police, according to reporters in the court room.
UPDATED: 11:25 a.m. EDT — After getting an earlier victory to not move the trial venue, defense lawyers secured a second win of the day by saying that Jason Van Dyke reloaded his weapon after killing LaQuan McDonald because he was trained to do so, according to a report on social media.
Van Dyke shot LaQuan 16 times, even after the victim had fallen to the ground back during the incident in 2014.
The trial over a white police officer killing a Black teenager in Chicago in was scheduled to begin on Monday, nearly four years after Jason Van Dyke gunned down LaQuan McDonald in an apparent case of murder by way of brutality and corruption.
Follow here for live updates from the trial.
The former Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer fatally shot LaQuan 16 times in 2014, and cops released the shooting video in 2015 after a court order. CPD faced allegations of covering up the shooting, with its account contradicting what dashboard camera video showed was LaQuan trying to walk away from Van Dyke at the time of the killing.
Police officers encountered the 17-year-old on the evening of Oct. 20, 2014, after receiving a complaint about a suspect trying to break into vehicles, according to police officials. Two officers followed the Black teen in their patrol vehicle from a distance before calling for a backup officer with a Taser. Van Dyke, one of the backup officers who arrived, allegedly got out of his vehicle with his gun drawn and started shooting as LaQuan moved slightly away from him. He continued firing, for a total of 16 times, even after the teenager fell to the ground.
The former officer was facing six counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery and one count of official misconduct in LaQuan’s death.
The warning signs for a potential Van Dyke acquittal were already being written on the proverbial wall, as just one Black person was selected to serve on the jury while half of the jury was white.
In July, Judge Diane Gordon Cannon was removed for having a history of siding with police in cases of excessive force. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan, who refused to change the trial venue, was ultimately assigned the case.
Four other Chicago officers, who were suspended without pay for their roles in the investigation into LaQuan‘s shooting, were permitted to return to work in a controversial ruling in June.
About a week prior to jury selection, an emotional Van Dyke said he’s not a racist and “prays” daily for LaQuan‘s family.
Follow here for live updates from the trial.
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LaQuan McDonald Trial Live Updates As Ex-Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Faces Life For Killing Black Teen was originally published on newsone.com
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