Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, was found guilty of second-degree murder on Friday, nearly four years after he shot and killed Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old holding a knife.
The violent encounter sparked intense demonstrations across the city after authorities released a video in 2015 showing Van Dyke firing 16 shots into McDonald, which led to a sprawling federal investigation and pushed some top officials out their jobs. The closely watched trial highlighted the fraught relationship between this city’s police force and its residents, particularly people of color, as well as questions about how officers use deadly force.
Van Dyke, 40, also was found guilty on 16 charges of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for each shot fired at McDonald. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction. Each count of aggravated battery with a firearm carries a sentence of between six and 30 years. The judge can decide to have the sentences served concurrently or in succession.
Van Dyke is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 31 for sentencing.
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