Chicago ex-cop sentenced to nearly seven years over teen shooting

Saturday January 19 2019

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke attends his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on January 18, 2019. PHOTO | ANTONIO PEREZ | POOL | AFP 

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A white former Chicago police officer was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison on Friday for fatally shooting a black teenager in 2014, an incident that triggered months of protests in the city.

Jason Van Dyke fired 16 bullets into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald during the confrontation, which occurred while he still a member of the force.

The slaying was captured on police video that showed the knife-wielding teen appearing to walk away from officers when he was shot.

"My findings are an appropriate sentence would be 81 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections, two years mandatory supervised release," Judge Vincent Gaughan said.

In October, a jury had convicted Mr Van Dyke of second-degree murder over the killing.

Three of his fellow officers were charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice for allegedly filing false reports about what happened.

They were acquitted on Thursday.

The city's police chief and lead prosecutor both lost their jobs after the McDonald shooting, one in a series of fatal encounters between US police and African Americans, who formed the Black Lives Matter movement in response.