We don’t have all the details on this case (have not followed from outset) but we are getting swamped with predictive information claiming all hell is about to break loose in Chicago. Reportedly a video shows a white police officer shooting a black suspect under arrest – Police have been very sketchy.
(Via Reuters) A white Chicago policeman was charged on Tuesday with murdering a black teenager, a prosecution that was speeded up in hopes of staving off a fresh burst of the turmoil over race and police use of deadly force that has shaken the United States for more than a year.
Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, was denied bail at a hearing in Chicago’s main criminal courthouse hours after top Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez announced charges of first-degree murder. If convicted, Van Dyke could face 20 years to life in prison.
At the brief court hearing, prosecutor Bill Delaney told Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Donald Panarese that a video of the Oct. 20, 2014 shooting does not show Laquan McDonald, 17, who was armed with a knife, advancing on Van Dyke, and that witnesses concur on that fact.
A highly anticipated video of the shooting will be released on Tuesday afternoon, local media said. Authorities had previously said the video would be released on Wednesday.
McDonald was shot 16 times by Van Dyke, who emptied his gun and prepared to reload, prosecutors said. Van Dyke has said through his lawyer and the police union that the shooting was justified because he felt threatened by McDonald.
“Clearly, this officer went overboard and he abused his authority, and I don’t think use of force was necessary,” Alvarez said at a news conference after the hearing.
The judge scheduled another hearing for Monday and asked to see the video then in order to reconsider the issue of bond.
Van Dyke has had 20 misconduct complaints made against him during the past 4-1/2 years, none of which led to any discipline from the Chicago Police Department, according to research by Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and expert on police accountability issues.
“The Chicago Police Department refuses to look at potential patterns of misconduct complaints when investigating police misconduct,” Futterman said. “If the department did look at these patterns when investigating police abuse, there is a great chance right now that 17-year-old boy would still be alive.” ( read more )