Episode 13: The Prosecution Rests

Episode 13: The Prosecution Rests

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An expert on police use of deadly force testified on Thursday that Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke did not need to shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke, 40, faces first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and official misconduct charges in the Oct. 20, 2014 shooting death of McDonald. The shooting gained national attention when the city released a police dashcam video of the white cop shooting the Black teen.

This episode is part of 16 Shots, a podcast first released in 2018 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.

On Thursday, former FBI agent Urey Patrick told the jury that he found the “risk posed by Mr. McDonald did not rise to the necessity of using deadly force to stop it.”

Patrick said a person must pose an imminent danger of serious injury or death to justify the use of deadly force. While McDonald was carrying a knife, Patrick said he doesn’t believe the teen was not a threat because the dashcam video showed him moving away from Van Dyke.

Defense attorneys are expected to start calling witnesses when the jury returns on Monday.

Here’s a recap of some of the other testimony from Thursday.

  • FBI ballistics expert Scott Patterson testified that Van Dyke fired 16 shots in about 14 seconds. He said that is enough time for a shooter to aim before each shot.
  • After prosecutors called their last witness, Van Dyke’s lawyers asked that all charges be dropped. Judge Gaughan quickly denied that motion.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.