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Jason Van Dyke release date: Chicago police officer convicted in fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald to get early release from prison


CHICAGO (WLS) – Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will be released from prison February 3 after serving less than three years and four months behind bars.

Van Dyke, now in his 40s, has been in custody since being convicted in October 2018 of aggravated murder and second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. In 2014, Van Dyke shot a black teenager 16 times. The video, which captured the footage from the police dashboard camera, which was released more than a year later, was a key piece of evidence in the trial and sparked a public reaction around the country. Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 aggravated battery-related counts.

Van Dyke was convicted up to six years and nine months in prison, so he will serve about half of his sentence after receiving credit for good conduct.

Pastor Grace Memorial Baptist Church Rev. Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s uncle, said he was informed Friday that Van Dyke was awaiting release.

“It’s a pity that Jason Van Dyke has a day where he can get parole and get rid of his past to a certain extent and Laquan McDonald can never have another birthday,” Hunter said. “My prayer is that Mr. Van Dyke comes out a different man than when he came in.”

William Calloway, the activist credited with releasing the dash cam video of the shooting reacted to the news that Van Dyke was awaiting release.

“The federal government has legal authority, U.S. Attorney John Lausch has legal authority, and he has a moral obligation to file federal civil rights charges against Jason Van Dyke,” Calloway said.

Van Dyke spent the past three years in multiple out-of-state prisons and at one point being attacked while in the general population of a Connecticut facility. His attorney, Jennifer Blagg, who worked on his appeal said she doesn’t know exactly where he will be released next month. He is currently in an out-of-state facility and is protected.

“Well, I can tell Jason doesn’t want to be in the media. He doesn’t want someone to cover for him, I don’t think so. I can’t speak for Jason, but I know he is. who is like Blagg said.

And after that, he will spend at least two years on parole and will have to check in regularly with a pardoned officer during his stay in the Chicago area.

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