Jason Van Dyke, the police officer charged with murdering Chicago teen Laquan McDonald, is due to appear in court today after a weekend of protests against McDonald’s untimely death. It will be decided if Van Dyke is to be released on bail or if he will remain in custody for the charge.
Van Dyke has been in custody without bail since Tuesday, the day that the dashcam footage showing the officer shoot McDonald 16 times back in October 2014 was released to the public. The video went viral within hours, inspiring protestors to take to the streets and to confront Mayor Rahm Emanuel for seemingly burying the case to protect the Chicago Police Department.
Some of the most outspoken protestors, including the Black Youth Project’s Malcolm London, called for Police Chief Garry McCarthy to resign for corruption in his department.
Judge Donald Panarese Jr. will decide on Van Dyke’s fate after watching the dash-cam footage for himself. Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, says the officer will be pleading not guilty. Herbert argues that the officer shot out of fear for his life and that the footage distorts the distance between the officer and McDonald at the time of the shooting.
Van Dyke was suspended without compensation when the murder charge was filed; he was demoted to administrative duty following the shooting.
Van Dyke has faced complaints over excessive force and racial slurs in the past, though he has dodged any punishment for them. A Chicago man was given $350,000 in a case settled by a jury in which he accused Van Dyke of brutalizing him during a traffic stop.
Van Dyke is a Chicago native with a wife and two children. Last week, GoFundMe took down a page in which his wife tried to raise money to cover costs for the case.
Van Dyke has been charged and brought to court a whopping 13 months after McDonald was killed.
Laquan McDonald’s killer cop set to appear in court was originally published on hellobeautiful.com