Video After The Jump
(Reuters) A judge on Monday set a $1.5 million bond for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder after a patrol car's dashboard camera video showed him shooting a black teenager 16 times.
Protesters including NAACP President Cornell William Brooks were arrested on Monday, tweets from Brooks and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said, as demonstrations continued against the 2014 shooting and 13-month delay in releasing the video.
At Monday's hearing, Cook County Criminal Court Associate Judge Donald Panarese, Jr. ruled police officer Jason Van Dyke, who appeared in shackles, must post 10 percent of the total amount. The police union president said that union members would help Van Dyke's family meet the amount.
Last week Van Dyke was denied bail because the judge wanted to see the video first. Prosecutors asked on Monday that the previous ruling stand, but Van Dyke's lawyer, Daniel Herbert, said his client posed no flight risk. Herbert said he did not know when Van Dyke might post bond.
There have been several days of protests in Chicago following the release Tuesday of the video, which showed Van Dyke gunning down 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in the middle of the street on Oct. 20, 2014, as he was walking away from police who had confronted him. Van Dyke, 37, was charged with first-degree murder.
The case is among several high-profile killings of unarmed black men at the hands of mainly white law enforcement officials in U.S. cities over the past two years, reigniting a national debate on race relations and police tactics and sometimes leading to violent demonstrations.
Herbert said Van Dyke is prepared to defend himself. "He is very scared about the consequences that he's facing. He's concerned for his wife and his children. But he's handling it like a professional," Herbert said.
Herbert said the video alone does not show the shooting to be justified, but he decided after consulting with Van Dyke and experts in the field that the case was "absolutely defensible."
"When you see the video alone it does not seem like a justifiable shooting," Herbert said. He said there were certain things he knows that "quite frankly no one else knows."
Dean Angelo, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police union, said on Monday he saw the video of the shooting. "I think Officer Van Dyke steps into his training mode and takes action that he believed at that time to be justified," he said.
The case was linked to an online threat that closed the University of Chicago on Monday. A University of Illinois at Chicago student was arrested in connection with the threat and had threatened to kill 16 white male students or staff in retaliation for the shooting of McDonald, according to the Chicago Tribune.