Correction appended, Nov. 24
The Chicago police officer who was allegedly videotaped shooting 17-year old Laquan McDonald more than a dozen times was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, making him the first Chicago police officer to face such charges for an on-duty shooting.
Jason Van Dyke allegedly shot the black teen 16 times last year in an incident that was captured on police dashcam video, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Last week, a judge ruled that the video of the incident should be released by Wednesday, since the city had not proved that releasing the video would undermine the ongoing investigation. Two lawyers who have seen the video say that it depicts Van Dyke shooting McDonald sixteen times, and that the victim was walking away from the officer at the time of the shooting. Police say McDonald was shot when he lunged at the officers with a knife, and his autopsy showed he had PCP in his system.
Van Dyke’s attorney Dan Herbert said that his client’s actions were justified because he feared for his life. Requests for comment from Van Dyke’s attorney were not immediately returned.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement condemning Van Dyke, but defending the police force at large:
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the day the police officer was charged. It was Tuesday, Nov. 24.
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