In Chicago, a murder charge and a police video as a city holds its breath

Top left: Attorney Daniel Herbert represents Officer Jason Van Dyke. Top right: Brandon Smith, who's suit against Chicago brought about the release of the police video. Bottom left: Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at CPD headquarters. Bottom right: Fraternal Order of Police president Dean C. Angelo, speaking after officer Van Dyke turned himself in to police custody. (Steve Musal, Steven Porter/Medill)

By Misha Euceph and Raquel Zaldivar

Cook County prosecutors filed first-degree murder charges Tuesday against white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in the October 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. As Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for calm and others called for protests, the police prepared to release a graphic dash-cam video of the shooting. A judge ordered Van Dyke held without bail, even as his attorney said there is more to the story.


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Mayor Emanuel meets with African American pastors and community leaders and urges restraint.

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On social media, critics across the country responded skeptically to Emanuel’s efforts.


Officer Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, told reporters that his client feared for his life when he fired 16 shots at the 17-year-old McDonald.