- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chicago is preparing for likely protests once the city releases video evidence this week central to the case against Jason Van Dyke, a white police officer formally charged Tuesday with murdering a black teenager last fall.

Officer Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the force, surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office accused him of first-degree murder “without legal justification and with the intent to kill or do great bodily harm.”

A dashboard camera in Officer Van Dyke’s department vehicle captured the Oct. 14, 2014, incident between police and 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. City officials had fought for months to keep the footage private until after prosecutors decided to announce the filing of any charges, and a judge has been ordered the video to be made public no later than Wednesday.

An attorney for the victim’s family told CBS News’s local affiliate recently that the video clip captured Officer Van Dyke carrying out the brutal “execution” of the teen, and specifically caught the officer on camera as he fired his final two shots.

“The first shot or two seem to spin him on the ground. He falls down. He’s down on the ground, and for the next 30 seconds or so, in this video, the officer just continues to shoot,” the attorney, Jeff Neslund, said. “What you see are graphic puffs of smoke rising from Laquan and intermittently his body twitching, in reaction to the shots.”

Prosecutors said at a bond hearing on Tuesday that Officer Van Dyke fired 16 rounds at the teen in about 14 seconds. Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. subsequently ordered him to be held through the week.

With the release of the clip now imminent, the city is planning for the possibility of large-scale demonstrations, especially in the wake of previous protests that unfolded across the nation in the aftermath of similar officer-involved incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore.

“I’m definitely concerned about people’s outrage,” Rev. Corey Brooks of the New Beginnings Church on Chicago’s South Side told Reuters this week.

Rev. Ira Acree of the Greater St. John Bible Church said a meeting hosted Tuesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel made it “clear” that demonstrations were on the horizon.

“Many in my community feel betrayed, they are so very angry and protests are imminent,” he said.

The city police department has preemptively canceled scheduled days off for several officers, ordered most of its force to be prepared for duty and called on officers who have undergone riot-control training to be ready if needed, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.


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