Jason Van Dyke Is Released On $1.5 Million Bail After Fatally Shooting Laquan McDonald
The white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a 17-year-old black teenager will not be awaiting trial in jail. On Monday evening, Jason Van Dyke was released from Cook County Jail after his family posted $150,000, or 10 percent of the $1.5 million bail set by the judge earlier that day. Van Dyke faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
Van Dyke was arrested last week, and was initially denied bail by Cook County Judge Donald Panarese, Jr., who wanted to first watch the dashcam video which showed McDonald's death last October. The video, made public last Tuesday after advocates petitioned and protested for more than year for its release, shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald while he walks in the middle of the street. Autopsy reports showed McDonald was shot 16 times.
The video is one of many that have sparked wide-scale protests in Chicago and across the nation, which are aimed at decreasing police brutality and racial tension between law enforcement and the community. Also on Monday, jury selection began in Baltimore for the first of six officers charged in connection with the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a black man who died while in police custody in April.
Van Dyke is set to appear before court again Dec. 18.