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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Police officer who shot teen 16 times charged with murder

The release of dashcam footage of the incident is expected tomorrow.

A WHITE POLICE officer has been charged with the first-degree murder of a black teenager who he shot 16 times.

Jason Van Dyke handed himself in to the police on Tuesday over the killing of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

If convicted of the charge he could face 20 years in prison.

This comes ahead of footage of the incident being released, which the judge in the case has ordered should happen no later than tomorrow.

Those who have seen footage of the incident claim that it shows McDonald walking away from police with a small knife in his hand, the Chicago Tribune is reporting. 

Van Dyke is then alleged to have opened fire from around 15 feet away and continued to shoot the teenager after he dropped to the ground.

The autopsy report showed that McDonald was shot at least twice in the back and that there were also traces of the psychedelic drug PCP in his system.

Killings by Police-Chicago AP The autopsy diagram of the wounds on Laquan McDonald's body AP

In separate statements, Van Dyke’s solicitor and the police unions have maintained that the officer fired as he was in fear for his life.

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

Ahead of footage being released, Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel has called for calm in the city, with widespread protests anticipated.

“One individual needs to be held accountable. They need to be held accountable for what they’ve done,” he said.

Contains reporting from Associated Press 

Read: Chicago “on the tipping point” as police get ready to release video of officer shooting black teenager 16 times

Also: Five Black Lives Matter protesters shot by “three white men”