Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke’s appeal of his 2018 conviction for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald has been dismissed.
The Appellate Court of Illinois First District made the ruling Friday (Oct. 9, 2020) at Van Dyke’s request. Van Dyke’s attorney filed a motion with the court Sept. 29, 2020, asking that his appeal be dropped.
Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon had served as special prosecutor in the case that led to Van Dyke’s Oct. 5, 2018 conviction to charges of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Cook County Judge Vincent M. Gaughan later sentenced Van Dyke to six years and nine months of imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In a Friday, Oct. 9, news release, McMahon issued a statement on the Appellate Court ruling to drop the appeal.
“Mr. Van Dyke’s decision prevents additional years of litigation, bringing finality to the thorough prosecution of this case in which his rights were protected and justice was served,” he said. “I wish to again thank everyone who diligently worked with us on this case from the time of our appointment as special prosecutor in August 2016 through today’s Appellate Court ruling.”
Under Illinois law, Van Dyke likely will serve about half of the sentence.
On Oct. 20, 2014, Van Dyke, responding to a call for a disturbance in the vicinity of the 4100 block of South Pulaski Road, Chicago, shot McDonald 16 times, firing most of the shots after McDonald fell to the ground.
Multiple Chicago police officers were already on the scene when Van Dyke arrived. Within seconds he began shooting at McDonald, who was walking away from him. McDonald died a short time later at Mount Sinai Hospital.
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office news release