Van Dyke Trial Live Blog: Officer's Attorneys Say He Shouldn't Have Been Charged With Murder - NBC Chicago

High-profile trial for Chicago officer who shot Laquan McDonald

Van Dyke Trial Live Blog: Officer's Attorneys Say He Shouldn't Have Been Charged With Murder

Jason Van Dyke was charged with murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald

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    What to Know

    • Van Dyke is charged with murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old McDonald nearly four years ago

    • The Chicago police officer was captured on dashcam video shooting McDonald 16 times the night of Oct. 20, 2014, on the city's Southwest Side

    • Van Dyke entered a plea of not guilty

    Defense attorneys for Jason Van Dyke on Wednesday said the Chicago officer never should have been charged with murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald because of an Illinois law that protects peace officers trying to arrest fleeing felons.

    The lawyer who trains the city's police officers testified to explain what the department considers to be justifiable. 

    "So this second justification would be reasonable and necessary to prevent the defeat of the arrest and the person," police department attorney Yolanda Sayre said, "and the person to be arrested has attempted to commit or has committed a forcible felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or death."

    That's what happened, the defense said, prior to the October 2014 shooting when police were called when McDonald allegedly confronted truck driver Rudy Barillas with a knife. 

    Van Dyke Defense Shows 3D Recreation Tuesday

    Van Dyke Defense Shows 3D Recreation Tuesday

    New high-tech evidence was exposed in the Jason Van Dyke trial Tuesday. The  defense alleges the Chicago police officer was in fear for his life and the lives of his fellow officers when he shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski has the latest.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018)

    "He pulled out a knife and tried to hurt me," Barillas said. "What did he do with the knife? He came towards me and tried to stab me." 

    Barillas said McDonald appeared to be disoriented and unable to speak.

    The prosecution said McDonald posed no real threat.

    Defense Recreates McDonald Shooting From Van Dyke's View

    [NATL CHI] Defense Recreates Laquan McDonald Shooting From Van Dyke's Perspective

    Jason Van Dyke's defense attorneys show jurors a recreation of the shooting of Laquan McDonald from the Chicago police officer's perspective, based on laser analysis of the scene.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018)

    "So you were able to fend off this man with nothing more than a cell phone and some rocks? Is that right?" Joseph Cullen asked Barillas, who confirmed he was able to.

    McDonald’s great uncle said he watched Wednesday as more witnesses testified to alleged violent incidents involving McDonald as a juvenile.

    "It is an unjust ploy to paint Laquan McDonald as the perpetrator," Rev. Marvin Hunter said. "He is a victim. He is the victim in this case. He is not on trial."

    Van Dyke Attorneys Begin Their Case

    Van Dyke Attorneys Begin Their Case

    After four years, Jason Van Dyke and his attorneys are telling their version of what happened the night Laquan McDonald was killed. Van Dyke stands charged with murder, but now his legal team is offering a new theory. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 24, 2018)

    Dr. Jeremy Stayton, who treated McDonald the night he was shot, said the teen had no blood pressure, no respiration and no pulse. 

    A wound to his pulmonary artery, Stayton said, caused McDonald, to lose more than half the blood in his body. 

    "The chances of him surviving are very low in any case," Stayton said, then answering what the chances would have been, "I don’t know if anyone has ever done a paper on it, but I would say less than 1 percent." 

    Van Dyke's Defense Attorneys to Begin Calling Witnesses

    [CHI] Van Dyke's Defense Attorneys to Begin Calling Witnesses

    Defense attorneys for Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke were expected to begin calling witnesses Monday. Sandra Torres reports. 

    (Published Monday, Sept. 24, 2018)

    In a scene that looked like it was taken from a video game, jurors in Van Dyke's trial on Tuesday were shown a recreation of the fatal shooting, but this time from the officer's perspective. 

    The recreation was based on laser analysis of the scene and was played over police radio audio from the shooting itself. 

    Prosecution Rests in Van Dyke Trial

    Prosecution Rests in Van Dyke Trial

    The prosecution has rested in the murder trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski has the latest from the trial. 

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018)

    According to defense attorneys, the video showed that McDonald was closing the distance between himself and Van Dyke before the officer opened fire. Prosecutors have argued dashcam video shows McDonald appearing to walk away as Van Dyke shot the teen 16 times on Oct. 20. 2014. 

    Tuesday would have been McDonald's 21st birthday. 

      16 Gunshots in 14 Seconds are 'Deliberate and Methodical'

      [NATL CHI] 16 Gunshots in 14 Seconds are 'Deliberate and Methodical': FBI Expert at Van Dyke Trial

      Jurors at Jason Van Dyke's trial watched a video Thursday showing an FBI agent shooting 16 shots in 4 seconds. In another video, the agent fired 16 shots in 14.2 seconds -- the same amount of time Van Dyke fired all 16 shots at Laquan McDonald. The FBI expert called those shots “deliberate and methodical.”

      (Published Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018)

      Van Dyke was charged with six counts of first-degree murder more than a year after he shot McDonald on the city's Southwest Side. He entered a plea of not guilty. 

      Special prosecutors rested their case against Van Dyke Thursday after calling 24 witnesses over three and a half days. 

        Van Dyke Trial Continues on Day 3

        Van Dyke Trial Continues on Day 3

        Jurors spent the third day of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke's murder trial looking at graphic autopsy images showing the more than a dozen gunshot wounds on the body of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

        (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

        So far in the trial, the jury saw dashcam video of the shooting, graphic autopsy images of the more than a dozen gunshot wounds on the body of McDonald, video recreating the shooting from Van Dyke's point of view and video showing 16 gunshots in under 14 seconds. 

        They have also heard testimony from several Chicago police officers and witnesses at the scene, seen the weapon Van Dyke used, and watched as FBI specialists demonstrated the shooting. 

        Day 2: Van Dyke Murder Trial Continues

        Day 2: Van Dyke Murder Trial Continues

        The second day of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke's murder trial heard testimony from fellow officers, including Joseph Walsh, who was Van Dyke's partner on the night he shot teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

        (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

        What remains unclear is whether or not Van Dyke himself will testify.

        1:27 p.m.: Doctor who treated Laquan McDonald at Mount Sinai Hospital says he suffered from a bullet wound to his pulmonary artery. If he suffered such a wound, the doctor says, the chances are 99 percent he would be dead today.

        12 p.m.: Jackie Alexander, who was working at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, testified that in April of 2014, Laquan McDonald made threats to other inmates that he would beat them up. He also allegedly threatened to put a bullet in the judge's head.

        Jason Van Dyke Trial Enters Second Day

        [CHI] Jason Van Dyke Trial Enters Second Day

        The highly anticipated murder trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was scheduled to continue Tuesday, with more dramatic testimony on tap for the second day. Susan Carlson reports. 

        (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

        11:45 a.m.: Police officer testifies that in the wake of the MacDonald shooting, there was an officer safety alert for a gun that resembled a knife. 

        11:25 a.m.: Truck driver Rudy Barillas testifies that McDonald tried to stab him twice after he found the teen trying to steal radios from trucks parked at his lot at 41st and Pulaski.

        10:50 a.m.: Velez testifies that her first instinct was to call her police union, not an ambulance, after the McDonald shooting.

        Van Dyke Murder Trial Begins, Motion to Change Venue Denied

        [CHI] Van Dyke Murder Trial Begins, Judge Denies Motion to Change Venue
        Opening statements had just begun when the widely circulated dashcam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald was played in court for jurors Monday, marking the start of the highly anticipated murder trial of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
        (Published Monday, Sept. 17, 2018)

        10:21 a.m.: Testimony in the trial of Jason Van Dyke has resumed. The first witness is Leteshia Velez, an officer in a squad car approached by Laquan McDonald. She remembers the “expression on his face...the look in his eye.”

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