Sheriff Puts Van Dyke Under Observation In Jail’s Infirmary
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke under mental-health observation in jail, according to a spokeswoman for the office.
Van Dyke was convicted on Friday of second-degree murder and aggravated battery for shooting Laquan McDonald, 17. Judge Vincent Gaughan revoked Van Dyke’s bail.
Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Sheriff Tom Dart, said Van Dyke has a cell to himself in Cermak Health Services — the jail’s infirmary, where he can be observed more closely.
Smith said that is not unusual in a high-profile case and that Van Dyke’s weekend was “uneventful.” She said the officer can receive visitors but has not had any.
The sheriff’s office said it might move Van Dyke to a different unit in the jail after deciding where he would be safe — and where his presence would not “cause unrest,” Smith said.
Van Dyke could remain in the county’s massive jail until his sentencing, which could be weeks or months off.
The officer also faces another potential conviction — for contempt of court. Prosecutors brought a motion calling for a contempt finding due to interviews Van Dyke gave to media outlets including WBEZ before jury selection began.
Prosecutors claimed the interviews violated a gag order Gaughan put in place after he received the case nearly three years ago.
Van Dyke’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 31.