A Cook County, IL, jury has convicted Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The verdict was read this afternoon at about 2 p.m. Chicago time.
Van Dyke, 40, was charged with first-degree murder, official misconduct and aggravated battery in the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting of McDonald, who was shot 16 times. Jurors were told Thursday they have the option of convicting Van Dyke of second-degree murder, which is probationable, WGN reports.
Protesters reportedly gathered at city hall to await the reading of the verdict.
Extra police have also been stationed across the city. Some 4,000 additional officers were called into duty in the wake of the verdict, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“This afternoon and evening thousands of Chicago Police officers are at the ready to safeguard neighborhoods and defend the rights of peaceful demonstrations,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. “As always any and all criminal activity that jeopardizes the safety of people of Chicago will not be tolerated.”