Published: Sat, March 25, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Cop in LaQuan McDonald Shooting Case Gets 16 New Counts

Cop in LaQuan McDonald Shooting Case Gets 16 New Counts

A grand jury added 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm to the first-degree murder charges against a white Chicago police officer accused in the fatal shooting of a black 17-year-old.

These charges are in addition to the six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct that were filed against Van Dyke in 2015. Herbert entered a "not guilty" plea for Van Dyke on the new battery charges.

This is the first time a Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality in almost 35 years, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The court-ordered release of the video, which came 400 days after the incident, touched off weeks of protests in the city and lead to the U.S. Justice Department launching a 13-month-long civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department's practices. Police suspended Van Dyke without pay for a year and half and are trying to fire him.

USA Today notes that a grand jury is also deciding whether some of Van Dyke's colleagues who were at the scene that night should also be indicted in the shooting. The video contradicted police claims that McDonald lunged at police with the knife.

"This legislation seeks to restore some of the public's trust in law enforcement at a time when trust is at an all-time low". "Cases, such as Laquan McDonald, Mike Brown, Alton Sterling, [Sandra Bland] and Philando Castile are brutal illustrations on why we need a clear documentation of facts when citizen-encounters with police turn deadly".

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