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Lacquan McDonald murder: Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager

Lacquan McDonald murder: Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager

Jason Van Dyke's guilty conviction for second-degree murder and multiple counts of aggravated battery for fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times came two months after a Texas officer was convicted in the killing of a 15-year-old unarmed black boy.

They opted for this lesser charge and also found him guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm - one count for each bullet he fired. At one point, he sipped water from a bottle. He was found not guilty of official misconduct, the Associated Press reports.

The officer's wife sat stoically, arms folded, as the long verdict was delivered. He left the courtroom with an officer.

CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller said the Cook County jury was right to convict Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder.

"I think Chicago would have erupted", he said. Voters then dismissed the prosecutor in the case, who waited a year to charge Van Dyke.

This decision comes on the heels of other high-profile examinations into the conduct of police officers.

The issue of race permeated the case, though it was rarely raised at trial.

Yesterday a jury convicted the police officer of second-degree murder.

Van Dyke was remanded in custody and faces between four and 20 years in jail for second-degree murder.

"This is a gratifying verdict", McMahon said.

Defense attorney Daniel Herbert likened his client at trial to a boxer entering the ring with hands tied behind his back.

"We still have a lot more work to do", Carruthers said.

Kevin Graham, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said the conviction will be appealed.

City Hall and many downtown businesses closed early in anticipation of protests, CNN affiliate WLS reported. They said that he stabbed the tire of a police vehicle before the shooting. The shooting ignited widespread protests and fanned racial tensions in the already violent city.

According to prosecutors, Mr McDonald was holding a knife with a 3in (7.6cm) blade when he was stopped by police.

It was not an outcome some expected, despite evidence including a video of McDonald's shooting.

Laquan McDonald, 17, was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired at him on a dimly lit street where he was surrounded by other officers.

A judge ordered police to release the dashcam footage in November 2015 after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration fought to withhold the video for a year.

On Thursday, Van Dyke's family was threatened prompting him to suddenly leave the courthouse.

"Those in power know there will be consequences for not valuing black lives".

The judge was angry after Jason Van Dyke showed up late to a Thursday evening hearing after jurors began deliberating. "And he never adjusted that mindset". Such a sentence, at Van Dyke's age, could have amounted to life.

"This was not a first-degree murder", Miller said.

Herbert argued that McDonald was to blame for what happened that night, saying "the tragedy. could have been prevented by one simple step".

"Laquan McDonald represents all of the victims that suffered what he suffered". Judging by the video McDonald was actually trying to flee from the police, and upon arriving at the confrontation Dyke shot at the teenager and continued to do so even after he fell to the ground. But he told people present in the court to control their emotions, warning: "If you do act up, I guarantee, I'm gonna arrest you".