Officer convicted of murder in slaying of Laquan McDonald

Jason Van Dyke en route to the courthouse

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The city prepared for the possiblity of widespread protests but for many of those who've been campaigning for the past four years there was celebration rather than upset.

Chicago police officer Jason van Dyke was found guilty of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.

As for finding Van Dyke not guilty of official misconduct, jurors said they felt it was consistent with convicting him of second-degree murder, rather than first-degree, in that he believed his actions were justified, even if that belief was not reasonable. Mr. Van Dyke was found not guilty of official misconduct.

- At the corner of Chicago and Lake, a celebration demonstration was held Friday night for a verdict 400 miles away.

Even before the trial, the case had already had an impact on law enforcement in Chicago.

Several jurors who decided one of the most closely watched trials in Chicago history spoke out Friday to explain what happened during their seven hours of deliberations and how they got to guilty. Even though St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged with manslaughter and risky discharge of a weapon in Philando's death, a jury acquitted Yanez of all charges. This past March it was revealed that the Baton Rouge officers responsible for killing Alton Sterling will not have charges brought against them.

Van Dyke's lawyer Dan Herbert said his client was a "sacrificial lamb" by politicians who wanted to appease an angry public.

The Chicago Police Department had also begun making plans to react quickly if riots broke out upon a not guilty verdict.

Jason van Dyke fired 16 bullets into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald during the 2014 confrontation. Police officers worked to hide what happened on the scene, and in initial reports they stated that McDonald had lunged at them with his knife.

"We are past all of that", she said. An autopsy showed McDonald had a small amount of the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his system when he died.

The shooting sparked widespread protests when dashcam footage, from a nearby vehicle, was released a year after the incident.

Van Dyke made similar claims on the witness stand as he told jurors that he was afraid for his life and acted according to his training.

At some point during the confrontation, Officer Van Dyke opened fire, shooting the boy 16 times.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Jody Gleason noted that Van Dyke told detectives that McDonald raised the knife, that Van Dyke backpedaled and that McDonald tried to get up off the ground after being shot.

The officer had been on the force for 13 years.

Media captionDashcam footage shows the moment 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was fatally shot by police in Chicago What's the political fallout? "And he never adjusted that mindset".

This Oct. 5, 2018 photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago, Ill., shows Jason Van Dyke. "When somebody was questioning something, we let them ask their questions, and we worked with it until we all came to a consensus", Juror 243 said. "He waved the knife from his lower right side upwards across his body towards [his] left shoulder".

Van Dyke told the jury Tuesday that McDonald's face was expressionless - "his eyes were just bugging out of his head" - as the teenager kept "advancing" on him, holding a knife.

On Friday, one of the males jurors said, "we're actually a very diverse group - economically, socially".

"I think there was a pause", one of the alternate jurors said as she recalled the testimony, prompting fellow jurors to nod in agreement.

Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly stated that Van Dyke was handcuffed as he was led from the courtroom.

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