Jason Van Dyke

Former Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Won't Face Federal Charges in Fatal Shooting of Laquan McDonald

Van Dyke was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in prison for killing McDonald in 2014.

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Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will not face federal charges in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, prosecutors announced Monday.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Van Dyke will not face charges after a six-year investigation into the case, which launched in April 2015.

“The decision not to pursue a federal prosecution is consistent with Department of Justice policy, and was made in consultation with Mr. McDonald’s family,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

According to the press release, U.S. Attorney John Lausch spoke to McDonald’s family on numerous occasions to discuss the investigative process, and says that the teen’s family agreed not to pursue a second prosecution.

Van Dyke was convicted in 2018 of second-degree murder in the shooting death of McDonald, and was sentenced to 81 months in prison. He was released from prison in Feb. 2022, a move that renewed the call for federal charges to be filed against him.

Lausch’s office said that a federal case would have determined whether Van Dyke deprived McDonald of a “constitutional right,” and cautioned that such a case would have had a higher threshold of proof than the case the former officer faced at the state level.

Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in his state trial.

He was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in prison for killing McDonald in 2014. After responding to a disturbance call in the 4100 Block of South Pulaski Road on Oct. 20, 2014, Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times. Most of the shots he fired were after McDonald fell to the ground.

NBC Chicago/Chicago Sun-Times
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