5 takeaways from the second day of the Jason Van Dyke trial

5 takeaways from the second day of the Jason Van Dyke trial
Officer Jason Van Dyke Is Accused of Murder, But Laquan McDonald Is on Trial
In the cases when it does happen—particularly if the victim is black—the playbook for the defense is simple: put the victim on trial.

That playbook was put into action on Monday, the opening day of the Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dykes trial. Van Dyke, who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times as the teen was walking away from police officers, says his use of force was justified because he feared for his life and the lives of the other officers on the scene.

Judeh, the first person to take the stand following a lunch break in the trial, took several photos at the scene. His pictures captured markers documenting the location of the 16 spent bullet casings as well as the damage done by McDonald to the vehicle used by Officers Joseph McElligott and Thomas Gaffney. McDonald used a knife to stab the vehicles tire and slash its windshield.

Trial Begins Today for Chicago Officer Who Shot and Killed Laquan McDonaldNearly four years after Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke unloaded 16 bullets into Laquan…

Van Dykes defense hinges on making a Cook County jury—comprising only one black person—share that fear, despite the fact that other officers on the scene didnt share it. All to place the blame for Laquans death squarely on the Chicago teens own shoulders. As the Chicago Tribune reports, Van Dykes attorney, Daniel Herbert, told the court during his opening statement, the story in this case is a story written, directed and orchestrated by one person: Laquan McDonald.

Walsh is one of three current or former police officers charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct. Video and audio feeds of Walsh’s testimony were not available in an overflow courtroom. Walsh is believed to have asked the judge not to have his testimony televised, an option the judge was allowing.

Video: Van Dyke Murder Trial: New Video Shown To Jury

He went on to say that Laquan was on a wild rampage through the city, telling jurors that the prosecution wanted them to look at the final chapter without reading the rest of the book.

Chicago officers partner testifies at murder trial

A woman who called 911 to report McDonald–who was later determined to be on PCP–had asked to borrow her car in the middle of the previous night. Herbert also told the jury that McDonald had been using a disabled retired veterans public transit card throughout the city.

Prosecutors tried to salvage Messick’s testimony, prompting him to say the arrows depict puffs of smoke. But Herbert pushed further, asking him whether the puffs of smoke meant the bullets missed McDonald and hit the pavement. Messick gave varying answers, at one point saying, it didnt seem that way to me.

Laquan asked to borrow a car in the middle of the night. Laquan used a metro card that wasnt his. Laquan McDonald held a small folding knife. This is all it takes to classify a black teen as wild, and to paint him as the architect of his own murder.

Walsh previously said in police reports that he told McDonald to Drop the knife! multiple times. He alleged that McDonald swung his knife in an aggressive manner. And he said that after McDonald fell to the ground and Van Dyke continued firing, McDonald kept moving, attempting to get up and still armed with the knife.

The one thing Laquan cant be called, by the judges own ruling, is a victim (though Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan decided that it could be permissible in closing arguments).

Certainly, there is a person thats dead as a result of this tragic situation but that doesnt mean that the person is a victim legally, Judge Gaughan said in August.

Another officer who testified Monday, Joseph McElligott, said he had come within 15 feet (4.5 meters) of McDonald, the same distance Van Dyke was when he later shot the teen. He said McDonald had stabbed the tire of the squad car his partner was driving and struck the window with the knife. But he said he didnt think his partner was in danger. He said they were waiting for an officer to arrive with a Taser to use on McDonald.

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens during his trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

CHICAGO –  The second day of the trial of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald began the way the first day ended: with a police officer who was at the scene the night of the killing.

Most jurors had said during jury selection that they had already seen the footage, which appears to contradict the initial claims of Van Dyke and other officers that McDonald had lunged at them with a knife. Now the jury watched it repeatedly, with prosecutors at one point stopping it to highlight certain points: the moment before Van Dyke opens fire; the first bullet striking McDonald; the 17-year-old lying on the ground.

Former officer Joseph Walsh was Jason Van Dykes police partner that night. Walsh testified Tuesday under a grant of immunity. Walsh is among three officers indicted on charges they conspired to cover up how the 2014 killing of McDonald happened.

Chicago cops murder trial hears opening arguments

McDonald was carrying a small knife in his right hand and was running down the middle of a street as officers pursued him after reports that someone was breaking into vehicles in a trucking yard.

CHICAGO (AP) — The last moments of Laquan McDonalds life played over and over again for the jury. An officer pulls up, gets out of a squad car and opens fire as the black teenager walks away from police, a small knife in one hand. McDonald crumples to the ground. More bullets are fired into his body — a total of 16.

Walsh said that after he and Van Dyke got out of their squad car to confront McDonald, he saw the 17-year-old raise his right arm and "swing that up to shoulder level … in our direction." Video of the shooting does not confirm Walshs account, but Walsh testified that it was taken from a different angle than his vantage point.

Van Dyke continued shooting McDonald after the teenager fell to the ground, firing a total of 16 shots. Walsh was next to Van Dyke with his own gun drawn, but testified that he chose not to shoot.

While prosecutors stressed that no other officers who encountered McDonald opened fire, defense attorney Daniel Herbert argued that Van Dyke is not a murderer. … He is a scared police officer who was fearful for his life and the life of others and acted as he was trained to do.

Prosecutors have stressed that no other officers who encountered McDonald opened fire. Van Dykes attorneys have said he was scared for his life and the life of others and acted as he was trained to do.


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