Chicago Cop Charged With Murder in Teen's Shooting

Video will be released by Wednesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2015 10:40 AM CST
Chicago Cop Charged With Murder in Teen's Shooting
This undated autopsy diagram provided by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office shows the location of wounds on the body of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.   (Cook County Medical Examiner via AP)

A white Chicago police officer accused of fatally shooting a black teenager was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, just a day ahead of a deadline for the city to release a squad-car video of the killing. It's believed to be the first time in city history an on-duty officer has faced such charges, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The state's attorney's office says Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged in the Oct. 20, 2014, death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the video, fearing an outbreak of unrest and demonstrations similar to those that occurred in Baltimore; Ferguson, Mo.; and other cities after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody.

Several people who have seen the video say it shows the teenager armed with a small knife and walking away from several officers. They say Van Dyke opened fire from about 15 feet and kept shooting after the teen fell to the ground. The New York Times says he was struck by 16 bullets. An autopsy report says McDonald was shot at least twice in his back. It also says PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, was found in the teen's system. Van Dyke turned himself in and was being processed on the charges Tuesday morning. (More police shooting stories.)

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