Both of Jason Van Dyke's daughters were threatened Thursday, prompting the officer to leave the courthouse.
The trial of Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and official misconduct, has become the latest focus of a long national debate over the use of police force against minorities. The city of Chicago is watching closely for word of a verdict in the case of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke charged with murder in the 2014 shooting of McDonald.
The reaction in Norris Friday was muted: the roughly three dozen people standing around the TV nodded or quietly sighed in relief after the verdict was announced. It's the first time in half a century that a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder for an on-duty death.
First-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
In preparation for the verdict, Chicago authorities made sure the full police force would be available resulting in an additional 4,000 officers throughout the city.
The jury's decision came at approximately 2:45 PM EST today, finding Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder and sixteen counts of aggravated battery.
But, in a move not uncommon at IL murder trials, Judge Vincent Gaughan told jurors before they began deliberating that they could consider the charge of second-degree murder.
Herbert did not note that Walsh is one of three officers charged with conspiring to cover up and lie about the circumstances of the October 20, 2014, shooting to protect Van Dyke.
Dash camera footage from one police vehicle would show that this description of the encounter was not true.
Prosecutors stressed that Van Dyke was the only officer to ever fire a shot at McDonald. Jurors found him not guilty of official misconduct. Vic Mensa, who created the song "16 Shots" in dedication to McDonald's murder, also penned a message about the trial on Instagram.
Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon.
When Van Dyke took the stand Tuesday, Gleason asked about a statement he made to his partner as they approached the shooting scene:"Oh my God, we're going to have to shoot the guy". But school officials, relatives and his family's attorney say there were signs that he was trying to get his life back in order. He's been free on bond. The judge revoked his bail and he was taken into custody.
Van Dyke listened silently as the verdict was read, taking a swig from a water bottle at one point.
Van Dyke must serve 85 percent of whatever sentence the judge sets before being eligible for parole.
The 12-person jury reached a verdict just one day after beginning deliberations. Before the conviction Friday, only six non-federal police officers had been convicted of murder in such cases - and four of those were overturned - since 2005, according to data compiled by criminologist and Bowling Green State University professor Phil Stinson.
A judge ordered police to release the dashcam footage in November 2015 after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration fought to withhold the video for a year.
The prosecution quickly countered that Van Dyke's account was not corroborated by video evidence of the shooting.