Bond set at $1.5M for Chicago officer who fatally shot teen

FILE - This Nov. 24, 2015 file photo released by the Cook County Sheriff's Office shows Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with first degree murder after a squad car video caught him fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. (Cook County Sheriff's Office via AP)


CHICAGO (AP) — A judge on Monday set bond at $1.5 million for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder after a squad car video caught him fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times.

Officer Jason Van Dyke has been locked up since Nov. 24, when prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. On the same day, authorities released the dashcam video that shows McDonald — armed with a small knife and walking down a street on the city’s southwest side — being shot repeatedly by the 37-year-old Van Dyke.

The bond amount means Van Dyke will need $150,000 to be released.

A judge had ordered the video released the previous week. On Tuesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she had decided a few weeks earlier to charge Van Dyke with murder and was planning to announce charges in a month. But knowing the intense public anger that the sight of the “chilling” video would generate, she announced the charges before the video’s release in an effort to encourage calm.

Van Dyke’s attorney last week reassured the judge that Van Dyke is not a flight risk, explaining that he has deep ties to the community, lives with his wife and two children in Chicago and does not possess a passport.

In the audio-free video, McDonald can be seen walking down the middle of a four-lane street. He appears to veer away from two officers as they emerge from a vehicle, drawing their guns. One of the officers, Van Dyke, opens fire from close range. McDonald spins around and crumples to the ground. The officer continues to fire.

Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, maintains that his client feared for his life, acted lawfully and that the video does not tell the whole story. Police have said that McDonald was carrying a knife and an autopsy revealed that he had PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, in his system. Alvarez said last week that the 3-inch blade recovered from the scene had been folded into the handle.

Protesters have marched on Chicago’s streets since the video’s release. The largest and most disruptive protest blocked off part of Michigan Avenue in the downtown shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile on Black Friday, preventing access to big name stores on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s