CHICAGO (AP) — A white Chicago police officer accused of fatally shooting a black teenager was charged with murder Tuesday, just a day ahead of a deadline for the city to release a squad-car video of the killing.

The state’s attorney’s office said in a statement that Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014.

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, Missouri and other cities after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody. The judge ordered the dash-cam recording to be released by Wednesday after city officials had argued for months it couldn’t be made public until the conclusion of several investigations.

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. An autopsy report says McDonald was shot at least twice in his back. It also said PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, was found in the teen’s system.

An attorney for Van Dyke did not respond to messages from the AP seeking comment, but said last week that the officer feared for his life and acted lawfully on the night of the incident.

Chicago police also moved late Monday to discipline a second officer who had shot and killed an unarmed black woman in 2012 in another incident causing tensions between the department and minority communities. Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended firing Officer Dante Servin for the shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, saying Servin showed “incredibly poor judgment.” A jury had acquitted Servin of involuntary manslaughter and other charges last April.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called together a number of community leaders Monday to appeal for help calming the emotions that have built up over the McDonald shooting. Some attendees said city officials waited too long to ask for their involvement.

“You had this tape for a year and you are only talking to us now because you need our help keeping things calm,” one of the ministers, Corey Brooks, said after the meeting.

Ira Acree, who described the meeting with Emanuel as “very tense, very contentious,” said the mayor expressed concerns about the prospect of any demonstrations getting out of control.

Another minister who attended, Jedidiah Brown, said emotions were running so high that there would be no stopping major protests once the video is released.

The fears of unrest stem from longstanding tensions between the Chicago police and minority communities, partly due to the department’s dogged reputation for brutality, particularly involving blacks. Dozens of men, mostly African American, said they were subjected to torture at the hands of a Chicago police squad headed by former commander Jon Burge during the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s, and many spent years in prison. Burge was eventually convicted of lying about the torture and served 4½ years in prison.

Acree and Hatch said blacks in the city are upset because the officer, though stripped of his police powers, has been assigned to desk duty and not fired.

“They had the opportunity to be a good example and a model across the country on how to improve police and community relations and they missed it,” Acree said.

The Police Department said placing an officer on desk duty after a shooting is standard procedure and that it is prohibited from doing anything more during the investigations.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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18 thoughts on “Chicago Cop Charged With Murder in Killing of Black Teen [UPDATED WITH VIDEO]

  1. Mess with The Money on said:

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  2. If these officers are that scared they need to find another line of work. That line is being Abused by police looking for any opportunity to kill. I won’t even use the word racist but they wouldn’t shot a animal that many times.

  3. Honestly on said:

    F*uck these depraved racist cave n!@@ers van dyke, just like his fellow cave n!@@er derren wilson committed murder while hiding behind a badge. These filthy neanderthal apes must be driven to p!ss, sh!t and blood. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  4. open your eyes people. there’s open season on black americans. they was hoping by sitting on it nobody would say nothing. the video is edited to cut to another angle and not show the officer stand over the boy and finish him off. then they walked across the street to burger king and deleted the outside video taken that night. they intended to kill him soon as they got there. open your eyes!!

  5. STOPTHEKILLINGS on said:

    It is a sad day for our country that a man is walking away from you yet you feared for your life. this is what they always say. maybe being a police man is not the job you should have. police can find themselves in a dangerous situation at any time, but you can not always fear for your life. hell that means anyone is liable to be shot, from a kid to an adult. what are you so afraid of? this never happens when it is a white person who is the offender, you are never afraid then to try to talk them down, take them to get something to eat, defuse the situation. co why is this not done when the offender is not white? this is so sad….a scared police officer is a dangerous officer, let’s get them off the streets….BLACKLIVESMATTER…..TOO….

  6. CathyCGregg on said:

    The Chicago police superintendent needs to be fired. He is so arrogant.,, His statements have no compassion and every apology is followed by a justification to the action.
    We have to change the mentality that exists where black men, young and old, are perceived first as criminals and a threat.

  7. CathyCGregg on said:

    The terrifying thing is these police departments are only doing the right thing when their shady coverups are exposed, how the hell do you justify shooting someone in back thats walking away from you, even if they are armed with a small knife how is that degree of force justified.. keywords WALKING AWAY

  8. The Chicago police superintendent needs to be fired. He is so arrogant. His statements have no compassion and every apology is followed by a justification to the action.

    We have to change the mentality that exists where black men, young and old, are perceived first as criminals and a threat.

  9. reflections on said:

    The greatest cowards, to assassinate and execute a mentally ill teenager must make them feel real big. I am sure while the victims was running away, the officers were in fear for his life. This is terrorism.

  10. They’ve got the guns, the badges, and the power to use deadly force (practically at will); but it’s these Police Officers, who are always crying “I feared for my life”. Really!!!

  11. specialt757 on said:

    I do agree with another poster that black America is (or should be anyway) tired of seeing these videos where blatant murder is committed or the mistreatment of blacks because they “fear for their lives” or some other non-sense (“he was dragging me”). So if I never see this horrific video (by description alone), I won’t be mad.
    Again, I know the police have a thankless and hard job but there has got to be a better way when dealing with the community. No one is making up these stories, they are really happening.
    Ex-officer Van Dyke was the ONLY out of several officers on the scene to fire shots, but not only fired once but after he was already down, that’s saying something. We can all use our imagination to figure out what that is. Racism in this country is real, not everything is related, but you know.

  12. “Police Officers.”. In addition, if Johnny Cocohran were here, he would have been hitting these Police Officers and George Zimmerman in the pockets where it hurts; and not small millions, large sums of millions – example: $600,000.00. With this amount of money, tthey and white America will begin to understand!

  13. Why didn’t this coward Police Officer learn from the Walter Scott incident? It is about time these murderous Police Officer and George Zimmerman be held accountable for their crimes! Also, stop having the taxpayers payout these settlements; instead, make the settlements come out of the Police Officers pockets, and the Police Union!

  14. Anthony B.... on said:

    I agree this shooting was a no brainer the police have already admitted he was shot several times while laying on the ground so charges should have been filed months ago!

  15. Timothy Green on said:

    The terrifying thing is these police departments are only doing the right thing when their shady coverups are exposed, how the hell do you justify shooting someone in back thats walking away from you, even if they are armed with a small knife how is that degree of force justified.. keywords WALKING AWAY

    • Maybe he didnt want to end up assaulted like Darren Wilson. The black panther devil Michael Brown hoax was proven to be a fraud by the racist pig Eric Holder. He tried to GET WHITEY but he failed. WHITE LIVES MATTER PIG!@

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