Chicago Officer to Be Indicted Tuesday in Laquan McDonald Case: Source

Officer Jason Van Dyke arrived to court Tuesday morning

The officer who fatally shot a Chicago teen 16 times in October 2014 is expected to be indicted Tuesday, just days after a judge ruled video of the "disturbing" shooting be released to the public, a source told NBC Chicago.  

A source with intimate knowledge of the case tells NBC 5 Political Editor Carol Marin that Officer Jason Van Dyke will be indicted Tuesday and the tape will be released on Wednesday.

"The State's Attorney has been engaged in an active and ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting death of Laquan McDonald working with our investigative partners at the federal level to conduct a comprehensive investigation," the Cook County State's Attorney's office said in a statement.

For nearly a week, city officials have been bracing for the moment footage of the shooting is made public, calling for calm ahead of potential riots.

Attorney Dan Herbert has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if the officer “acted inappropriately” when he fatally shot 17-year-old McDonald.

“He is scared to death about possible outcomes here,” Herbert said during a press conference Friday afternoon. “But he has been a professional and he has really been selfless. His concern is for his wife and his two young kids who are in grammar school.”

The dashcam video, which a judge ordered police to release by Nov. 25, is said to show the teen holding a small knife and walking away from officers when one unexpectedly opens fire, spraying the teen with more than a dozen bullets and continuing to fire as McDonald lies lifeless on the ground, according to an attorney for the McDonald family.

An autopsy confirmed McDonald was shot a total of 16 times and showed he had PCP in his system.

“It’s not unlike any video that would depict something being shot to death,” Herbert said, adding that the footage is “limited” and does not show what happened before the shooting.

“The video by nature is two dimensional so the problem is it distorts distances, and distances and depth perception are important,” he said. “The most critical problem is that the video does not depict what my client was seeing. It is not a video from the eyes of my client.”

The video has also been described as “disturbing” and so graphic that McDonald’s mother is concerned its release would prompt an uproar, according to an attorney representing the McDonald family. Attorney Mike Robbins said Thursday McDonald's mother "is not looking forward to the day this is released."

Herbert maintained that he’s confident the officer's actions were “not only lawful, but also within department policy and within his training.”

The city has paid $5 million to the McDonald family, but there have since been calls for the officer’s firing. He was placed on desk duty following the shooting.

“It’s my hope and my prayer that everybody who’s working on this case will see it the way the public sees it and that he’ll lose his job,” said Ald. Michelle Harris.

Contact Us