Chicago policeman charged with murder in shooting of black teen
CHICAGO (Reuters) -- A white Chicago policeman was charged with murder on Tuesday in the October 2014 shooting of a black teenager, a day before the planned release of a patrol car's dashboard video showing the young man was shot 16 times, and the city prepared for possible protests.
The officer, Jason Van Dyke, was denied bail at a hearing in Chicago's main criminal courthouse hours after a state prosecutor, Anita Alvarez, announced first-degree murder charges against him.
Last week, a Cook County judge ordered the release of the dashcam video showing the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Chicago authorities said they would make it public on Wednesday.
On Monday, city officials met with black community leaders who said they feared violent protests in reaction to the video, and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel appealed for calm.
The city has already paid McDonald's family a $5 million civil settlement even though they did not file a lawsuit.
The police union opposes the release of the video, saying it will taint a potential jury. The city of Chicago said it decided not to appeal the judge's order because it expected charges would be filed against Van Dyke this week.
Van Dyke has been on administrative duty while state and federal prosecutors investigated the shooting. He has said through his lawyer and the police union that the shooting was justified because he felt under threat from McDonald, who was holding a knife.
McDonald's death was one of several fatalities in cities across the United States involving police and that were captured on camera in the past 18 months, leading to protests about police use of deadly force and reopened a national debate on race relations.
Look back at recent police brutality cases: