Jury Finds Jason Van Dyke Guilty of Murdering Laquan McDonald

By Kenrya Rankin Oct 05, 2018

On October 20, 2014, then Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing the Black teenager. The case caused citywide protests, as residents pushed back against a government that covered up details of the shooting.

Today (October 5), nearly four years later, a jury found Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder.

He was originally charged with six counts of first-degree murder, 16 charges of aggravated battery (one for each shot) and one count of official misconduct. The jury found him guilty on the battery charges and not guilty of official misconduct.

Second-degree murder is a lesser charge; per Chicago Tribune:


It requires jurors to find that the prosecutors have proved all the elements of first-degree murder. Then they must decide whether the defense has shown “it is more probably true than not true” that Van Dyke believed he was justified, but that belief was unreasonable.

A second-degree murder conviction in Illinois can carry a sentence of four to 20 years, according to Chicago Tribune. Aggravated battery can draw a sentence of two to 60 years. Van Dyke will appear in court at a later date for sentencing.