Police officer found guilty of second-degree murder in shooting of Chicago teen
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Jurors on Friday found white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014.

Van Dyke had been charged with first-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery and official misconduct. He was found guilty on all 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each round he fired.

He was found not guilty of official misconduct.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) called for the public to respect the jurors' decision, tweeting, "Now is the time to move forward as a community."

McDonald was shot 16 times by Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014. Dashcam video released a year after the shooting led to widespread outcry.


The video shows McDonald walking when a squad car pulls up and two officers exit. He begins to walk away from the officers and when he is about 15 feet away, Van Dyke opens fire.

"16 shots and a cover up" has become a rallying cry for those protesting police violence in Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) and Police Superintendent Eddie Jonhson, both of whom faced sharp criticism over the shooting, released a statement weighing in on the decision, saying that the job of improving the city’s community relations is not over.

“Our collective work is not done,” the statement reads. “The effort to drive lasting reform and rebuild bonds of trust between residents and police must carry on with vigor.”

Activists, many of who had gathered around the courtroom for the whole three-week trial, lauded the decision. A senior adviser for the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who could not be at the hearing, called the result a just one.

“This is historic for Chicago and historic for these kinds of police misconduct cases,” Janette Wilson said. “The jury did what it could with the evidence that was presented to them. Jason Van Dyke is finally in custody and we are grateful. We don’t need Rambo cops on the street shooting kids.”

Van Dyke's defense focused on McDonald's possession of a knife during the altercation, saying it made him fear for his life. 

Dan Herbert, Van Dyke's attorney, told the jury that the video doesn't tell the whole story and is “essentially meaningless based on the testimony.”

Herbert argued that McDonald was to blame for what happened that night because he was holding a knife, saying “the tragedy ... could have been prevented by one simple step.” 

During the unfolding of the case against Van Dyke, the police superintendent and the county’s top prosecutor have both lost their jobs, the former fired by the mayor and the latter ousted by voters.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a large group of protesters were surrounding the courtroom before a decision was even announced.

Updated at 3:58 p.m.