On October 20, 2014, seventeen year old Laquan McDonald was killed in Chicago. Thirteen months after the crime, the footage was posted on a court order showing police officer Jason Van Dyke who shot the young man 16 times while fleeing with a knife in his hand. The officer also shot when the teenager was already dying on the street.
Van Dyke was postponed the same day. In October 2018, a jury declared the police guilty of culpable homicide. He had declared himself not guilty.
Now Van Dyke has been sentenced to six years and nine months in prison. 81 months in Illinois and two years of probation are appropriate, said Judge Vincent Gaughan.
On Thursday, three defendants of conspiracy, misconduct and obstruction of justice colleagues were acquitted.
"A strong message"
The death of seventeen year old Laquan McDonald led to mass protests against police violence and racism in the third largest city in the United States. In November 2015, thousands of people took to the streets in Chicago. After the protests, including the city police chief in the US state of Illinois, was released. In 2015, the city entered into a $ 5 million (€ 4.3 million) indemnity agreement with the victim's relatives.
The great uncle of Laquan McDonald, the baptist priest Marvin Hunter, said the verdict sends a strong message to all police officers who can and will go to jail if they lie or break the law.
The principal investigator in the case, Joseph McMahon, described the case as a historian and stated that the authorities involved had worked reliably. He said after the verdict: "Our goal was to discover the truth, show it and ask for justice, it was not about revenge".