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In October of 2014, a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager on the streets of Chicago. The shooting of Laquan McDonald was captured on video, and sparked outrage across the city. Chicago's top cop was fired, the local state’s attorney was voted out, and the feds were sent in to investigate the culture at the police department. Now, the police officer at the center of the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, will stand trial for murder. WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune look at how Van Dyke and McDonald intersected that night nearly four years ago, the alleged cover-up of the shooting, and examine the long history of friction between African-Americans and the Chicago Police Department. And we’ll follow the trial — bringing you insight, context, and analysis.

In October of 2014, a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager on the streets of Chicago. The shooting of Laquan McDonald was captured on video, and sparked outrage across the city. Chicago's top cop was fired, the local state’s attorney was voted out, and the feds were sent in to investigate the culture at the police department. Now, the police officer at the center of the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, will stand trial for murder. WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune look at how Van Dyke and McDonald intersected that night nearly four years ago, the alleged cover-up of the shooting, and examine the long history of friction between African-Americans and the Chicago Police Department. And we’ll follow the trial — bringing you insight, context, and analysis.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

In October of 2014, a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager on the streets of Chicago. The shooting of Laquan McDonald was captured on video, and sparked outrage across the city. Chicago's top cop was fired, the local state’s attorney was voted out, and the feds were sent in to investigate the culture at the police department. Now, the police officer at the center of the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, will stand trial for murder. WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune look at how Van Dyke and McDonald intersected that night nearly four years ago, the alleged cover-up of the shooting, and examine the long history of friction between African-Americans and the Chicago Police Department. And we’ll follow the trial — bringing you insight, context, and analysis.

Twitter:

@wbez

Language:

English

Contact:

3128932911


Episodes

Ep 30: 81 Months

1/19/2019
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Judge Vincent Gaughan sentences Jason Van Dyke to 81 months in prison. It means he’ll likely serve about 3 years. The officer celebrates with his attorneys. Young activists are angry and struggle to make sense of it.

Duration:00:18:55

Ep 29: Not Guilty

1/18/2019
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Judge Domenica Stephenson finds 3 Chicago police officers did not lie in their reports to cover-up for Jason Van Dyke the night he killed Laquan McDonald. Defense attorneys call her courageous. Activist Will Calloway says the code of silence extends to judges. And we hear from Van Dyke jurors as his sentencing approaches.

Duration:00:17:51

Ep 28: Consensus or Conspiracy?

12/7/2018
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Defense attorneys present just one witness and some documents. That comes after 7 prosecution witnesses over 4 days. The sides make their closing arguments and Judge Domenica Stephenson says she’ll announce a verdict December 19.

Duration:00:21:16

Ep 27: Cover-up Trial Begins

11/28/2018
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Attorneys give their opening statements in the conspiracy trial of officers who were on the scene when Jason Van Dyke killed Laquan McDonald and a detective who led the investigation of the shooting. We take a closer look at the judge who will be deciding guilt in the case, Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson, and her relationship with one of the defense attorneys.

Duration:00:16:18

Ep 26: Bad Paper

11/21/2018
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A month and a half after Jason Van Dyke was convicted of murder, three other Chicago police officers face charges of conspiring to cover-up for him. Prosecutors say the officers’ reports exaggerated the threat Laquan McDonald posed. Defense attorneys say this was a “good case with a little bit of bad paper. Update: The trial has been moved back one day to Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018.

Duration:00:14:03

Ep 25: Benedictions

10/11/2018
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On the Sunday after the verdict, we go to two Chicago churches in very different neighborhoods and hear their very different takes on Van Dyke, the shooting and the trial. We hear from Laquan’s friends and are surprised at what we find when we go back to the scene of the shooting at 41st and Pulaski.

Duration:00:24:09

Ep 24: Inside The Jury Room

10/6/2018
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The jurors talk to reporters about why they convicted Van Dyke. Activists express thanks for the guilty verdict and Van Dyke’s attorney Dan Herbert says cops are now going to stay in their cars.

Duration:00:14:50

Ep 23: Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder

10/5/2018
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Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke has been found guilty of second-degree murder and on all 16 counts of aggravated battery.

Ep 22: Closing Arguments

10/4/2018
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Lawyers gave their closing arguments Thursday in the murder trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

Ep 21: The Defense Rests

10/3/2018
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We examine the defense’s case and hear about what Chicago police officers are saying about the trial.

Duration:00:28:10

Ep 20: Van Dyke Testifies

10/2/2018
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Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke took the stand in his own defense in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

Ep 19: Will He Testify?

9/28/2018
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After four days of defense witnesses, one key person has not testified: Officer Jason Van Dyke. We explore the potential costs and benefits of Van Dyke testifying and we look at a previous police shooting in which he gave testimony under oath.

Duration:00:20:11

Ep 18: The Effects Of PCP

9/27/2018
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Lawyers for Officer Jason Van Dyke called witnesses Thursday to testify about PCP, police training, and McDonald’s behavior hours before the shooting.

Ep 17: The Initial Call

9/26/2018
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A truck driver who called 911 took the witness stand and described fighting off a knife-wielding man moments before Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shot Laquan McDonald.

Ep 16: From Van Dyke's Perspective

9/25/2018
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The defense presented a computer-generated video that showed the shooting of Laquan McDonald from the perspective of Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Ep 15: The Defense Begins

9/24/2018
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Lawyers for Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke called their first witnesses on Monday. One big question remains: Will Van Dyke take the stand?

Ep 14: Analyzing The Prosecution

9/21/2018
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Our panel of experts reviews the prosecution's case and answers questions about the trial.

Duration:00:19:12

Ep 13: The Prosecution Rests

9/20/2018
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An expert on police use of deadly force testified that Jason Van Dyke didn’t need to shoot Laquan McDonald.

Duration:00:11:33

Ep 12: The Autopsy Explained

9/19/2018
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The third day of testimony in the murder trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke focused on Laquan McDonald’s autopsy. We also explore the demeanor of Judge Vincent Gaughan.

Ep 11: Van Dyke’s Police Partner Testifies

9/18/2018
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The prosecution continued to call witnesses Tuesday, including Jason Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting. We bring you more details from the second day of testimony.

Duration:00:10:05