The Latest: Officer testifies about ‘knife-gun’ trial

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dijk listens during his first degree murder trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the Leighton criminal court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. The lawyers for the white Chicago police officer who fatally shot the black teenager has an animated video for jurors on Tuesday that was intended to show the officer’s perspective during the shooting and the support of his allegation that he feared for his safety. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

CHICAGO – The Latest news about the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer (all times are local):

12:30 pm

A Chicago police officer has told jurors in the trial of a white officer charged with murder in the shooting of Laquan McDonald that he told the police to watch for people that may have guns disguised as knives.

The testimony came Wednesday as defense attorneys sought to bolster their argument that Jason Van Dijk legitimately saw McDonald as a threat before shooting him 16 times as he ran away with a knife.

William Shield, he said that in the prospect with officers in 2012, two years before McDonald was killed, about knives, made specifically to shoot bullets. The implication was that Van Dijk would have thought McDonald had such a device.

But Shield said in cross-examination that neither he, nor any of the officers he knew ever came to such a device.

Truck driver Rudy Barillas testified McDonald tried to stab him with the knife earlier in the night he was killed.


11 hours

A Chicago police officer has told jurors in the trial of a white police officer charged with murder in the 2014 death of black teen Laquan McDonald McDonald looked threatening when she arrived at the place of earlier, and she thought that he could have had a gun.

Leticia Velez was the first witness Wednesday to the lawyers of the defendant Chicago officer, Jason Van Dijk. Velez had arrived in the area in front Of Dike arrived and shot McDonald 16 times as he ran away with a knife. McDonald doesn’t have a gun.

They said that when they saw that McDonald he held his side. She told jurors she thought it might mean that he had a gun. They also said that McDonald ” looked confused.”

The defence is looking to establish that Van Dijk had a reasonable fear that McDonald is a threat. The prosecutors have emphasized that there are no other officers fired at McDonald.


11:25 pm

The trial of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the death of the black teen Laquan McDonald resumes with the defense presentation of the evidence for a third day.

Jason Van Dijk lawyers have not yet said who will testify first Wednesday.

The focus Tuesday was an animated video produced for the defense purporting to show Van Dijk’s perspective as he shot McDonald 16 times. The animation sought to establish that the officer had a legitimate fear for his life.

A dashcam video of the 2014 shoot is from a different angle, behind the McDonald. It is the center of the state .

Van Dijk could testify. But his lawyers see the animation as a substitute for his testimony. If the 40-year-old officer testifies, that he would be exposed to possible blistering cross-examination.

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