16 Shots: The Police Shooting Of Laquan McDonald In October of 2014, a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager on the streets of Chicago. The shooting of Laquan McDonald was captured on video, and sparked outrage across the city. Chicago's top cop was fired, the local state's attorney was voted out, and the feds were sent in to investigate the culture at the police department. Now, the police officer at the center of the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, will stand trial for murder. WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune look at how Van Dyke and McDonald intersected that night nearly four years ago, the alleged cover-up of the shooting, and examine the long history of friction between African-Americans and the Chicago Police Department. And we'll follow the trial — bringing you insight, context, and analysis.
16 Shots: The Police Shooting Of Laquan McDonald

16 Shots: The Police Shooting Of Laquan McDonald

From WBEZ Chicago

In October of 2014, a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager on the streets of Chicago. The shooting of Laquan McDonald was captured on video, and sparked outrage across the city. Chicago's top cop was fired, the local state's attorney was voted out, and the feds were sent in to investigate the culture at the police department. Now, the police officer at the center of the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, will stand trial for murder. WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune look at how Van Dyke and McDonald intersected that night nearly four years ago, the alleged cover-up of the shooting, and examine the long history of friction between African-Americans and the Chicago Police Department. And we'll follow the trial — bringing you insight, context, and analysis.

Most Recent Episodes

Ep 10: Opening Statements

In opening statements, prosecutors said Officer Jason Van Dyke didn't need to shoot and the defense said Laquan McDonald was out of control. We bring you more from the first day of testimony.

Ep. 9: A Jury Of His Peers

The 12 jurors and 5 alternates have been picked to decide Jason Van Dyke's fate. With only one black juror, the racial makeup is controversial. We explore how the jurors were picked — and what we know about them.

Ep 8: Building A Jury

Judge Vincent Gaughan began to interview potential jurors on Monday. The first five were selected. We discuss what the prosecution and defense are looking for.

Ep 7: Bail & Reform

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke had his bond raised by $2,000 because of what he said in media interviews the week before the trial. A judge agreed with prosecutors that Van Dyke violated court orders not to discuss the case publicly. This story is part of 16 Shots, a podcast about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald, the trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke, and the troubled relationship between African-Americans and the Chicago Police Department. To hear all the episodes, subscribe on Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. The Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald had to pay an additional $200 to stay out of jail because of what he said to local media in the days leading up to the trial. Judge Vincent Gaughan said Thursday that Jason Van Dyke violated the case's "decorum order" with what he said in interviews last week to the Chicago Tribune and Fox 32 Chicago. You can hear parts of Van Dyke's interview with the Tribune in the first episode of 16 Shots. Van Dyke, 40, faces first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and official misconduct charges in the Oct. 20, 2014 shooting death of McDonald on Chicago's Southwest Side. The officer wasn't charged until city officials were forced in November 2015 to release a police dashcam video of the white cop shooting the black teen. Bond was initially set at $1.5 million, and Van Dyke spent six nights in Cook County Jail before his father posted the required $150,000. One of the conditions of his release was that he obey all court orders while awaiting trial. On Jan. 20, 2016, Gaughan issued a decorum order, which set strict limits on the public dissemination of possible evidence and public comment outside the courtroom by anyone involved in the case. Gaughan has enforced such secrecy in some of his other high-profile cases, including the 2008 trial of singer R. Kelly. Prosecutors claimed Van Dyke violated that decorum order when he spoke to the media in what they portrayed as a self-defense argument without being questioned on the witness stand. But defense attorney Randy Rueckert argued that Van Dyke only gave interviews because of the avalanche of publicity against him since the shooting. Gaughan ruled in favor of the prosecutors and raised bond by $2,000, which means Van Dyke had to pay another $200 to stay out of jail. An attorney for #JasonVanDyke leaves the courtroom with a bag holding personal items of the officer —including a belt and rings. Sheriff's spokeswoman says Van Dyke will be processed at jail and released today if he posts the $200 in extra bail money. #LaquanMcDonald— Chip Mitchell (@ChipMitchell1) September 6, 2018 Van Dyke walked out of the courthouse with his father about an hour later. The high-profile trial started Wednesday when about 200 potential jurors were given questionnaires and told to come back Monday. Gaughan is expected to interview potential jurors next week. Van Dyke's defense team can still opt to have a bench trial, with a judge deciding his fate, until the last juror is sworn in. But if they choose a jury trial, Gaughan must find 12 people he thinks can reach a verdict based only on trial evidence — not past or current media coverage. Van Dyke's defense team has argued that will be impossible in Cook County. They have filed a motion to move the trial outside the county, but Gaughan won't rule on that change-of-venue request until after efforts are made to find an impartial jury at the Chicago courthouse. That selection process will continue Monday, when the judge will interview potential jurors. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Ep 6: Jury Selection Begins

Jason Van Dyke's trial started Wednesday. We take you inside the courtroom for the start of jury selection and outside where protesters gathered in force.

Ep 5: The Trial

The trial of Jason Van Dyke begins today. We profile the lawyers and the judge. Two Chicago legal veterans tell us the moves they expect each side to make. And we ask what this trial means for Chicago.

Ep 4: Chicago's Mayor Says He Won't Run Again

A day before the trial of Jason Van Dyke, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a surprise announcement - he won't seek a third term in office. The mayor has faced intense scrutiny for how he handled the shooting of Laquan McDonald. We discuss the announcement and hear reaction.

Ep 3: The Fallout

Protesters take to the streets of Chicago after officials release the a video of Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Laquan McDonald. Critics attack the mayor and police department. A federal investigation finds a pattern of abuse by Chicago officers.

Ep 2: Pattern & Practice

The fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald aggravated longstanding tensions between Chicago police and the city's black residents. We look at how a troubled police department spun a narrative of the shooting, how that narrative fell apart, and how the city reacted when it did.

Ep 1: The Night Of

The police shooting of Laquan McDonald forces Chicago to prepare for potential riots. We piece together details from McDonald's too-short life and hear from Officer Jason Van Dyke in his first interview since the shooting.

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