Ex-Chicago cop who killed Laquan McDonald will be released from prison early

After serving a little more than 39 months of an 81-month sentence for the shooting death of a Black teen in 2014, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will be released from prison next month.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that Van Dyke’s release is set for Feb. 3,

Van Dyke was sentenced in 2018 after being found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the October 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Van Dyke was eligible to take time off his prison term with credit for good behavior because he was convicted of second-degree murder, the Sun Times reported.

McDonald’s shooting was captured on video, which was released about a year after the killing.

The dashcam video showed McDonald walking away from Van Dyke just before the officer, who is white, shot 16 times at McDonald.

The shooting and the eventual release of the video led to protests in the streets of Chicago and a reckoning for the city’s police department. The Justice Department issued a report in 2017 that called for a comprehensive reform of a department it accused of excessive force and civil rights violations.

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