Chicago ex-cop sentenced to almost seven years over teen shooting

Chicago ex-cop sentenced to almost seven years over teen shooting

He faced up to 96 years in prison.

Attorney Dan Herbert said after Friday's hearing that, "We're happy that he does have the ability to see those two handsome girls. and his wife, he's gonna see the better part of their lives".

Ahead of Friday's sentencing, lawyers for Van Dyke asked for probation, the minimum punishment in IL for second-degree murder.

Following his trial in October, Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder as well as 16 counts for aggravated battery, with the former officer receiving one count for every shot he fired.

Moments before learning the sentence, Van Dyke acknowledged the teen's death, telling the judge that "as a God-fearing man and father, I will have to live with this the rest of my life".

Activists wanted a longer sentence.

Several black motorists testified that the officer had used a racial slur and excessive force during traffic stops in the years before the shooting.

In her hourlong statement, Stephenson said it was "indisputable and undeniable" that McDonald was a threat.

In fashioning his sentence, Gaughan said the law required him to consider the most serious charge Van Dyke was convicted of - which common sense dictates is second-degree murder, not aggravated battery.

Three other former officers submitted police reports that did not align with video footage, but they were found not guilty of charges of covering up the murder. Other statements that said McDonald threatened Van Dyke with the knife were also lies, the indictment said. Police said he ignored Van Dyke's verbal demands to drop a knife he held as he walked down a street. While that case was unfolding, officer Thomas Gaffney, former officer Joseph Walsh, and former detective David March were all entrenched in a legal battle over their roles in the alleged cover-up of Van Dyke borderline "police work" resulting in McDonald's death.

Judge Stephenson pointed out that the police video at the centre of the case had been preserved. Among other things, they said the officers falsely claimed that Van Dyke shot McDonald after McDonald aggressively swung the knife at police and that he kept shooting the teen because McDonald was trying to get up still armed with the knife.

A judge has acquitted three Chicago police officers of trying to cover up the 2014 fatal police shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Police were responding to a report of a male who was breaking into trucks and stealing radios on the city's South Side.

Prosecutors showed the video repeatedly during the three-week trial.

After the judge's announcement, Van Dyke's father said, "They threw him underneath the bridge".

The case went largely unnoticed until the city was forced to release police dashcam video 13 months after it happened.

"The defendants allegedly lied about what occurred and mischaracterised the video recordings so that independent criminal investigators would not learn the truth about the killing and the public would not see the video recordings", they said when charges were announced in June 2017.

The case cost the police superintendent his job and was widely seen as the reason the county's top prosecutor was voted out of office a few months later. Since his conviction, Van Dyke has been in solitary confinement in the Rock Island County Jail - rather than in Cook County - since October in order to better protect him. It was also thought to be a major factor in Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's decision not to seek a third term.

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