News / USA

    Chicago Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty in Murder of Black Teen

    FILE - Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, shown Nov. 30, leaves the Cook County Jail after posting bond. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the death of a black teenager.
    FILE - Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, shown Nov. 30, leaves the Cook County Jail after posting bond. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the death of a black teenager.
    VOA News

    A white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times has pleaded not guilty to murder charges, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut short his vacation after two more fatal police shootings.

    Jason Van Dyke entered his plea Tuesday at Chicago's Cook County Courthouse, where he is charged with six counts of murder for the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

    Last month's release of police dashboard video that showed the shooting, increased tensions in the city and set off weeks of protests that led to the resignation of Chicago's police chief, Garry McCarthy.

    In this Oct. 20, 2014 frame from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald walks down the street moments before being shot by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
    In this Oct. 20, 2014 frame from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald walks down the street moments before being shot by police officer Jason Van Dyke.

    The video shows McDonald jogging towards police, and then walking away as he's shot 16 times, many bullets hitting him after he falls to the ground.

    On Saturday, police fatally shot a 19-year-old male student and a 55-year-old mother of five. Both victims were African American.

    The race of the police officers involved in Saturday's response to what police called, “a domestic disturbance”  has not been revealed.   

    The Chicago police department said when its officers arrived on the scene Saturday they were "confronted by a combative subject, resulting in the discharging of the officer's weapon, fatally wounding two individuals."

    A police statement said the woman, Bettie Jones, "was accidentally struck and tragically killed."

    While the police offered little information about the shooting, a report in The Chicago Tribune newspaper said Quintonio LeGrier, the student, was threatening his father with a metal baseball bat when the police were called.

    The newspaper said it appeared LeGrier and Jones, who was LeGrier's downstairs neighbor, both arrived at their shared front door at about the same time.

    The Tribune account reports LeGrier's mother, Janet Cooksey, said the family was told her son was shot seven times.

    Cooksey told the newspaper her son "didn't have a gun. He had a bat." She said "one or two" shots would have brought him down.

    She said "You call the police, you try to get help and, you lose a loved one. What are they trained for? Just to kill? ...My son was an honor student. He's here for Christmas break and now I've lost him."

    The Chicago Sun –Times reported that LeGrier’s father, Antonio, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago on Monday.

    Chicago mayor cuts short family vacation

    Mayor Emanuel’s spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said in a statement Monday that the mayor would cut short a family vacation with his wife and three children in Cuba in order to, “continue the ongoing work of restoring accountability and trust in the Chicago Police Department.”  She said the mayor had been in constant contact with acting police superintendent John Escalante.

    The U.S. Justice Department is investigation the behavior of the Chicago police force.

    Emanuel said it was not acceptable that some Chicago police officers treat African Americans, particularly young men, differently than whites and he regretted that African American parents told their children to be wary of police.

    Better training of officers is among the police department reforms Emanuel has promised. Other steps include a special panel to investigate internal police practices and reopening closed cases of police shootings found to be justified.

     

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lou from: Atlanta
    December 30, 2015 8:41 AM
    I wonder what the payout will be in this one. It was $6.4 MILLION in the Freddy Gray death in Baltimore. It was $4.7 MILLION in the Kathryn Johnston death in Atlanta. A million here, a million there, pretty soon you're talking real money.
    You tax dollars at work!

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    December 29, 2015 7:21 PM
    The honor student, threatening someone with a baseball bat...his father, with a baseball bat. Honor student or no, he was brandishing a potentially dangerous weapon with the intent to do physical harm to another person.
    Let us continue to coddle and downplay the wrongful and dangerous behavior of the deceased, and heap all the blame on the police officers who respond to these domestic disturbances.

    by: A citizen
    December 29, 2015 5:22 PM
    This goes on and on.....

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora