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Twitter Reacts To Jason Van Dyke’s Guilty Verdict Over Laquan McDonald Killing

Twitter Reacts To Jason Van Dyke’s Guilty Verdict Over Laquan McDonald Killing

The Jason Van Dyke murder trial has concluded in Chicago and Van Dyke was found guilty on 16 charges of aggravated assault and one count of second-degree murder.

The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The death of Laquan McDonald in 2014 triggered months of protests in Chicago and America's third-largest city is braced for more trouble after the verdict. Van Dyke said he fired in self-defense after McDonald lunged at him with a knife. Dan Herbert, Van Dyke's defense attorney, suggested that police officers will look at the trial and hesitate to fire their weapons in potentially unsafe situations, saying: "It is a sad day for law enforcement". Van Dyke was also found guilty on 16 counts of aggravated battery that carried sentences of six to 30 years.

A judge ordered police to release the dashcam footage in November 2015 after the Democratic city leader's administration fought to withhold the video for a year. He added: "It shows a perspective, but it's the wrong perspective". Then, as police attempted to corral McDonald while still in their vehicles, he stabbed one of the cars in the tire and hit it in the windshield with his knife.

"If the court lets Van Dyke walk free, that would be illegitimate violence too - a threat against every black and brown youth in Chicago", they said.

Van Dyke's lawyer Dan Herbert said his client was a "sacrificial lamb" by politicians who wanted to appease an angry public.

Though he was never disciplined, a jury did award $350,000 to a man who filed an excessive-force lawsuit against him. McDonald wound up in juvenile detention after an arrest for marijuana possession in January 2014.

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Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly stated that Van Dyke was handcuffed as he was led from the courtroom. Police officers worked to hide what happened on the scene, and in initial reports they stated that McDonald had lunged at them with his knife.

The city has been preparing or possible demonstrations in a high-profile case that already sparked protests.

"I'm really happy", Curtis said, "I really felt like if they had returned a not-guilty verdict I would have burst into tears immediately". It also led to a Justice Department investigation that found a "pervasive cover-up culture" and prompted plans for far-reaching police reforms. The city's police superintendent and the county's top prosecutor both lost their jobs - one fired by the mayor and the other ousted by voters.

Schools and businesses braced for potential unrest, and people across the city paused in the middle of the day to listen for the jury's decision.

Another possibility is that the defense will ask, under complicated legal rules, for the judge to merge the crimes for which Van Dyke is convicted for sentencing purposes since they were all tied to a single event, Mr. Greenberg said.

"Did you see any evidence that race had anything to do with this case?" he said. The woman said other officers had encountered McDonald that night and "they didn't feel the need to use deadly force".


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