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Latest: Marchers celebrate verdict in downtown Chicago

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke watches the prosecution's closing statements during his first degree murder trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the murder trial of white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald (all times local):

7:25 p.m.

Hundreds of boisterous but peaceful demonstrators briefly blocked several streets in downtown Chicago after white police officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder Friday in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Carrying signs reading “Justice for Laquan McDonald” while chanting “16 shots” and “guilty,” the marchers started outside City Hall and continued for many blocks. The tone was celebratory as demonstrators pushed past police officers lining the route.

The march ended in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower.

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5:50 p.m.

A relative of Laquan McDonald is thanking prosecutors for the second-degree murder conviction of the white Chicago police officer who shot the black teenager in 2014.

The Rev. Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s uncle, blamed the teen’s death on a rogue police officer “who thought he could be judge, jury and executioner.”

Jason Van Dyke testified that McDonald was advancing on him and ignoring his orders to drop a knife. Video showed the 17-year-old crumpling to the ground in a hail of 16 bullets as he walked away from officers.

Hunter told reporters Friday that the family can’t rejoice because Van Dyke is going to jail. He said his family could see the pain of the Van Dyke family, adding that what bothered him was that Van Dyke’s family couldn’t “see our pain.”

Hunter said Van Dyke has never asked McDonald’s family for forgiveness.

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5:30 p.m.

One legal expert says a white Chicago police officer is likely looking at less than 10 years in prison for killing a black teenager rather than decades because jurors opted to convict him of second-degree murder and not first-degree murder.

Jurors Friday also convicted Jason Van Dyke of 16 counts of aggravated battery for shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times.

Steve Greenberg has defended clients at more than 100 murder trials. He says Van Dyke would have faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 years on a first-degree murder conviction.

Second-degree murder carries sentences of between four and 20 years. Each count of aggravated battery carries between six and 30 years.

Greenberg says it’s highly unlikely the judge would order Van Dyke to serve the sentences one after the other. Instead, they would be served simultaneously.

Greenberg estimates a judge would impose a prison sentence of no more than six years.

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4:30 p.m.

The lead prosecutor in the case of a white Chicago police officer convicted of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald says the verdict provides justice for many people.

Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon said the verdict is justice for McDonald and his mother. He also said it “provides validation and a sense of justice for many residents of Chicago and Cook County and beyond this area, many communities, the African American communities across our country.”

Van Dyke testified that McDonald was advancing on him and ignoring his orders to drop a knife. Video showed the 17-year-old crumpling to the ground in a hail of 16 bullets as he walked away from officers.

Jurors also convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery — one count for each bullet.

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3:50 p.m.

Some jurors in the trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke say they spent much of their deliberations on whether to convict him of first-degree or second-degree murder, not an acquittal.

Ultimately, jurors convicted the white office on Friday of second-degree murder for shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

The jurors also told reporters that Van Dyke’s testimony didn’t help him. One woman says he “messed up” and shouldn’t have testified.

The jurors did not disclose their names during interviews with reporters conducted at the courthouse.

Van Dyke testified that McDonald was advancing on him and ignoring his orders to drop a knife.

But a juror says Van Dyke needed to “contain the situation, not escalate it.” He says the jury settled on second-degree murder because Van Dyke believed he was experiencing a real threat.

To convict him of that charge, jurors had to find Van Dyke’s belief was unreasonable.

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3:40 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson are urging residents to listen to each other as they react to the murder conviction of white Officer Jason Van Dyke in the death of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke was convicted Friday of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. He was acquitted of official misconduct.

Emmanuel and Johnson said in a joint statement that, “The effort to drive lasting reform and rebuild bonds of trust between residents and police must carry on with vigor.”

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

Second-degree murder usually carries a sentence of less than 20 years.

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3:30 p.m.

A leading civil rights attorney says the second-degree murder conviction of a white Chicago police officer for killing black teenager Laquan McDonald is a watershed moment that sends the signal that police reforms that began after protests over McDonald’s 2014 slaying are real.

Andrew Stroth says an acquittal Friday of Jason Van Dyke for murder would have sent the opposite message and would have dashed hopes for change in minority communities. He says Chicago “would have erupted” had that happened.

It was a video released in 2015 showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times as he walked away from police with a knife that prompted outrage and protests that lasted weeks. It also led damning Department of Justice report accusing Chicago police of widespread abuses and pledges of reform by city officials.

Stroth says Friday’s murder verdict “is a culmination” of years of steps in the city toward meaningful police reforms.

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3:15 p.m.

The defense attorney for a white Chicago police officer convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald says the officer was a victim of politics in the city.

Attorney Dan Herbert called Jason Van Dyke “a sacrificial lamb by political leaders and so-called community leaders to save themselves.” His comments came after Van Dyke was taken into custody Friday following his convictions for murder and aggravated battery.

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

Herbert called it a “sad day for law enforcement” because the verdict tells police officers they can’t do their job.

He says, “Police officers are going to become security guards.”

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2:25 p.m.

White Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been taken into custody just minutes after jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Special prosecutor Joseph McMahon immediately asked the judge to revoke Van Dyke’s bond and jail him after the Friday afternoon verdict. He said the officer was now a convicted felon and faced mandatory prison time of at least several years.

Van Dyke showed no outward emotion as the judge ordered him held pending sentencing. Van Dyke stood up from the defense table and then put his arms behind his back as two deputies led him away.

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

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2 p.m.

A jury has convicted white Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke was charged with first degree-murder in the October 2014 killing, a charge that requires a finding that the shooting was unnecessary and unreasonable. The judge told jurors the second-degree charge was also available, requiring them to find Van Dyke believed his life was in danger but that the belief was unreasonable.

The jury announced the verdict Friday. It’s the first time in half a century that a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder for an on-duty death.

McDonald was carrying a knife when Van Dyke fired 16 shots into the 17-year-old as he walked away from police.

Second-degree murder usually carries a sentence of less than 20 years.

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12:50 p.m.

Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

The verdict will be announced at 1:45 p.m. Central Time.

Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and official misconduct. Jurors also can consider second-degree murder.

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11:40 a.m.

Jurors deliberating in the trial of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald have asked a question about aggravated battery charges the officer faces.

Judge Vincent Gaughan told attorneys that the jurors asked Friday whether they should consider the 16 counts as they were listed on the medical examiner’s report or just the “simple” number of shots fired. The judge ordered them to consider just the simple number of shots fired.

One possibility is that the jurors were considering whether to attach specific counts to specific wounds.

Officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 shots at McDonald. In addition to the battery charges, he faces charges of first-degree murder and official misconduct. Jurors can also consider second-degree murder.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon.

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10:30 a.m.

A judge has decided against taking a Chicago police officer on trial for murder into custody for being late to a court hearing.

The judge was angry after Jason Van Dyke showed up late to a Thursday evening hearing after jurors began deliberating.

The white officer is charged with murder, aggravated battery and official misconduct for shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014. He’s been free on bond.

Judge Vincent Gaughan held a hearing Friday to consider revoking Van Dyke’s bond. Defense attorney Dan Herbert told the judge that Van Dyke’s tardiness was because he was dealing with a threat to one of his daughters.

He says some students at his daughter’s high school were “walking around asking, ‘Which one is Jason Van Dyke’s daughter because we are going to get her?”

Gaughan said he wouldn’t punish Van Dyke this time.

Jury deliberations are continuing.

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11:15 p.m.

The city of Chicago is watching closely for word of a verdict in the case of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

The jury determining Officer Jason Van Dyke’s fate is expected to continue deliberations Friday after starting them on Thursday afternoon.

The Chicago Police Department has canceled days off and put officers on 12-hour shifts. A police spokesman says an extra 4,000 officers will be on the street.

The city saw protests after video of the shooting was released in 2015, and activists have been planning how they might react to a verdict.

Prosecutors contend the shooting was unjustified and that Van Dyke was planning to shoot the teen before getting out of his squad car. Defense attorneys said Van Dyke reacted properly to the knife-wielding teen.

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For the AP’s complete story: https://bit.ly/2OLRJRX

For the AP’s complete coverage of the Jason Van Dyke case: https://apnews.com/tag/LaquanMcDonald

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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