Laquan Mcdonald: Officer jailed for shooting teen 16 times

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Laquan McDonald was 17 years old when he was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

The prosecution was seeking an 18-to-20 year sentence, while the defense asked for probation only.

The judge said there was no evidence that officers tried to hide or bury evidence.

"The case is clear, the case is straightforward, and it is concise", Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes told the judge during her opening statements.

Prosecutors alleged that Gaffney, March and Walsh, who was Van Dyke's partner, submitted false reports to try to prevent or shape any criminal investigation of the shooting. Van Dyke had claimed that McDonald had been swinging the folding knife in an "aggressive exaggerated manner", a claim that was supported by his fellow officers.

The ruling came after jurors in October convicted Van Dyke of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery ― one for each bullet fired at McDonald when the white officer shot the black 17-year-old on a Chicago street four years ago.

"Is it more serious for Laquan McDonald to be shot by a firearm or is it more serious for Laquan McDonald to be murdered by a firearm?" said Gaughan, explaining his reasoning.

"We will be down here tomorrow by the hundreds, and we will cry out for justice for Laquan", activist Eric Russell said after the hearing in which Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson acquitted former officer Joseph Walsh, former detective David March and officer Thomas Gaffney on charges of obstruction of justice, official misconduct and conspiracy. On Friday afternoon, the jury found Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder. Prosecutors presented several options that would keep the former officer behind bars for decades.

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"We can not now view the actions of the officers with the benefit of hindsight as to what they should have believed", she said, adding that taken together, the officers reporters "were able to accurately detail the events of that evening".

McDonald's great uncle, Marvin Hunter, said the ruling proved the city's legal system was "corrupt". When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered McDonald, who they said had a folding knife in his hand.

The veteran officer's sentencing will be the latest in a series of developments linked to McDonald's killing.

Van Dyke's decision to shoot McDonald down like an animal in the street made him the symbol of Chicago's long history of cop brutality.

After the judge's announcement, Van Dyke's father said, "They threw him underneath the bridge". The release of the video sparked protests and political upheaval in the city. The court-ordered release of a police dashboard camera video of the shooting roiled the city, leading to a political reckoning and police reforms.

On Monday, prosecutors filed a document that laid out the case for a wide range of punishments.

Police officer Jason Van Dyke at the Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago in October 2018.

At the same time, the case prompted a federal investigation that resulted in a blistering report that found Chicago officers routinely used excessive force and violated the rights of residents, particularly minorities. The court-ordered release of a video of the incident, taken from a camera mounted on the dashboard of Van Dyke's police auto, prompted anger throughout Chicago and led to racially charged protests police reforms.

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