In 2014, with 16 shots – nine in the back – a Chicago policeman had killed a boy in the street. Now he was convicted of manslaughter.
The convicted cop Jason Van Dyke in the courtroom
© Antonio Perez / AFP / Getty Images
Three years after the fatal shootings on a black teenager, a US court has convicted the Chicago police responsible. The jury sentenced the defendant Jason Van Dyke for manslaughter. The 40-year-old was charged with murder and had pleaded not guilty. In court, Van Dyke said he feared his victim would attack him and that the officer acted as he had learned in such a case. For manslaughter shorter prison sentences are planned in the USA than for murder, the concrete duration remained unknown at first.
According to the New York Times, this is the first time in 50 years that a Chicago police officer is convicted of homicidal homicide. In October 2014, video footage shows, white policeman Van Dyke fired 16 bullets into the black Laquan McDonald in 13 seconds, nine of them in his back. He even shot further when the boy was already on the ground. The video led to mass demonstrations and investigations within the Chicago police force. The January 2017 report shows that more than 400 people were killed by the police between 2008 and 2015. 74 percent of them were African Americans, although they make up only a third of Chicago's population. The case became a symbol in the fight against racist police violence in the United States. Activists had positioned themselves in front of the courtroom. They cheered and shouted "Justice for Laquan!", Justice for Laquan.