The Latest: Chicago officer avoids jail for media interviews
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a Chicago police officer in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald (all times local):
A Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting of a black teenager has posted $200 bond and walked out of the courthouse after being taken into custody a few hours earlier.
Jason Van Dyke walked out of the courthouse on Chicago’s South Side shortly after 1 p.m. on Thursday. Earlier in the day, a judge ruled that recent interviews he’d given to the press were a clear violation of his longstanding order prohibiting parties in the case from discussing it publicly. Van Dyke has been free since he posted 10 percent of his $1.5 million bond and on Thursday Gaughan increased that amount by $2,000, meaning he had to post $200.
Prosecutors had argued at a hearing that Van Dyke’s bail should be revoked and he locked up in jail for violating the order. Van Dyke’s attorneys countered that he had a right to speak out and that Van Dyke was only speaking to counter the avalanche of publicity against him the dashcam video of the 2014 shooting was released to the public in late 2015.
Van Dyke’s interviews were given last week — just days before the jury selection process began on Wednesday.
A judge declined to jail a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting of a black teenager for violating his $1.5 million bail, instead bumping it up by just $2,000.
Judge Vincent Gaughan said Thursday that Officer Jason Van Dyke’s recent news media interviews violated court orders not to discuss the case publicly.
Sheriff’s deputies have taken Van Dyke into custody, but the officer will likely be released after paying 10 percent of the additional bond, or $200.
Defense attorney Randy Rueckert argued that Van Dyke only gave interviews because of the avalanche of publicity against him since shooting Laquan McDonald in 2014.
Prosecutors said Van Dyke was trying to present a self-defense argument without being questioned on the witness stand.
Jury selection in Van Dyke’s trial began Wednesday.
A judge could soon decide whether to revoke or increase the bond for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Judge Vincent Gaughan has scheduled a hearing for Thursday. Last week, prosecutors filed a motion that argued Jason Van Dyke should be put in jail or have his bond increased because they said his recent interviews with the media violated a judge’s order not to discuss the case publicly.
Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, has said in a statement that Van Dyke did not violate the judge’s order because he did not talk about “evidence” or “the shooting itself.”
Jury selection began Wednesday. Prospective jurors were summoned to court to fill out questionnaires that attorneys will use to pick a jury.