Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke is being charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times after the African-Americn teen, who reportedly had PCP in his system at the time of the incident, allegedly lunged towards the officer carrying a knife. Van Dyke, who claims to have been in fear for his life during the incident, was the only officer to shoot his gun during the confrontation and reportedly did so within seconds of getting out of his police vehicle.
Van Dyke, who is Caucasian, is now the first Chicago police officer in over three decades to be charged with first-degree murder for actions taken while on duty.
Last Friday, the city of Chicago was ordered to release dash cam video of the shooting by November 25. The city, which has been attempting to prepare for the public response to the graphic video by holding meetings with community groups and leaders ahead of the release, is expected to make the video public on Wednesday. Meanwhile, NBC Chicago has reported that police deleted additional video of the incident recorded by security cameras at a Burger King restaurant located near the site of the fatal encounter on the city's Southwest Side.
In April, the city of Chicago offered a $5 million settlement to McDonald's family, who had not yet filed a civil suit against the municipality. Meanwhile, Officer Van Dyke, 37, has been on paid desk duty since October 2014.
Check back with Progress Illinois for more on this developing story.
UPDATE 1 (5:12 p.m.): Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says reports of the alleged Burger King video being deleted by police is untrue. Police are set to send a downloadable version of the police cam video to the media shortly.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the following statement this afternoon in response to the first-degree murder charge lodged against Van Dyke Tuesday:
Across Chicago there are thousands of police officers who protect our communities every day with the highest professional standards. As the State's Attorney made clear, Jason Van Dyke's actions violated those standards and also the moral standards that bind our community together. Rather than uphold the law, he took the law into his own hands and it's now up to the justice system to hold him accountable. But his actions are in no way a reflection of the dedication and professionalism that our police officers exemplify every day and that our residents expect throughout our city.