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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora