Chicago Cop Who Killed Laquan McDonald Faces 16 New Charges
New charges have been filed against the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald.
According to court documents released this past Thursday, officer Jason Van Dyke is now facing 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm — one charge for each shot fired at the teenager.
Dyke was already facing first-degree murder charges, but now with this indictment he faces 23 felony charges in total. However, what has yet to be decided is if Dyke will actually be found guilty of the charges or acquitted in the controversial case.
The incident occurred back in 2014, when Dyke fired 16 shots at McDonald. Although initial claims from cops said that the 17-year-old lunged at police, video of the encounter released 400 days later revealed that was not the case. Judging by the video McDonald was actually trying to flee from the police, and upon arriving at the confrontation Dyke shot at the teenager, and continued to do so even after he fell to the ground.
According to a report from USA Today, the grand jury a part of the case is also deciding on if Dyke’s colleagues who were at the scene that night, should also be indicted in the shooting. Those officers had initially told investigators that McDonald had ignored Dyke’s orders to drop the knife, therefore putting the officers in danger.
As a result of the incident, Rep Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) recently introduced a new bill for Congress to consider, that would restrict federal funding to agencies which fail to enforce police body camera and dash cam policies.
Called The Laquan McDonald Camera Act if the bill is passed, any law enforcement agency that does not comply with the dash cam policy is taxed 10 percent of federal funding unless certification is provided to the U.S. Attorney General.
“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. There has been a wave of questionable police shootings that resulted in the deaths of unarmed citizens—or people who appeared to be of no threat at the time of the encounter,” Rush said. “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.”