The Latest: Officer testifies about ‘knife-gun’ at trial

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke listens during his first degree murder trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. Lawyers for the white Chicago police officer who fatally shot the black teenager presented an animated video to jurors on Tuesday that was intended to show the officer's perspective during the shooting and support his claim that he feared for his safety. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A Chicago police officer has told jurors at the trial of a white officer charged with murder in the shooting of Laquan McDonald that he once told officers to beware of people possibly carrying guns disguised as knives.

The testimony came Wednesday as defense attorneys sought to bolster their argument that Jason Van Dyke legitimately saw McDonald as a threat before shooting him 16 times as he walked away carrying a knife.

William Schield said he raised the prospect with officers in 2012, two years before McDonald was killed, about knives specially fashioned to shoot bullets. The implication was that Van Dyke could have imagined McDonald had such a device.

But Schield said in cross-examination that neither he nor any officers he knew ever came across such a device.

Truck driver Rudy Barillas testified McDonald tried to stab him with the knife earlier on the night he was killed.


11 a.m.

A Chicago police officer has told jurors at the trial of white police officer charged with murder in the 2014 death of black teenager Laquan McDonald that McDonald looked menacing when she arrived at the scene earlier and she thought he could have had a gun.

Leticia Velez was the first witness Wednesday for lawyers for the accused Chicago officer, Jason Van Dyke. Velez had arrived in the area before Van Dyke arrived and shot McDonald 16 times as he walked away carrying a knife. McDonald didn’t have a gun.

She testified that when she saw McDonald he was holding his side. She told jurors she thought that might mean he had a gun. She also said that McDonald “looked deranged.”

The defense is seeking to establish that Van Dyke had a reasonable fear that McDonald posed a threat. Prosecutors have stressed that no other officers fired at McDonald.


11:25 p.m.

The trial of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the death of black teenager Laquan McDonald resumes with the defense presenting evidence for a third day.

Jason Van Dyke’s lawyers haven’t said who will testify first Wednesday.

The focus Tuesday was on an animated video produced for the defense purporting to show Van Dyke’s perspective as he shot McDonald 16 times. The animation sought to establish the officer had a legitimate fear for his life.

A dashcam video of the 2014 shooting is from a different angle, behind McDonald. It’s the centerpiece of the state’s case .

Van Dyke could testify. But his attorneys may see the animation as a substitute for his testimony. If the 40-year-old officer testifies, that would expose him to potentially blistering cross-examination.


This version corrects the last name of the officer who testified about the knife-gun. It is Schield, not Shield.

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