After days of jury selection, a Cook County judge on Monday heard opening arguments in the murder trial of Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke.
Prosecutors formally dropped four counts of first-degree murder, but Van Dyke still faces two first-degree counts of murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery and one count of official misconduct for shooting and killing Laquan McDonald in 2014.
In his opening remarks, Van Dyke’s lead defense attorney Daniel Herbert argued that 17-year-old McDonald was on a “wild rampage” through the city and that Van Dyke’s decision to shoot was lawful.
Special prosecutor Joseph McMahon suggested race was a motivating factor and said that “not a single shot was necessary or justified.”
WBEZ reporter Shannon Heffernan joins the Morning Shift from the courtroom to talk about the trial.