In an apparent desperation move, former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke took the witness stand Tuesday and said whatever he could to convince a jury that he was justified in gunning down LaQuan McDonald, a Black teen, nearly four years ago.
Van Dyke, who’s white, wiped tears from his eyes as he gave testimony that contradicted video evidence in the case, the Washington Post reported.
The ex-officer claimed that 17-year-old McDonald kept “advancing” at him waiving a knife, so he had to keep firing until the teenager fell to the ground.
However, police dashboard camera video of the shooting shows McDonald walking away when Van Dyke fired 16 bullets at the teenager, continuing to fire even after the teen hit the ground.
Van Dyke faces six counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery and one count of official misconduct in McDonald’s death.
The fatal shooting happened Oct. 20, 2014, but the cops released the video to the public in 2015 after a court order. Police officials faced allegations of covering up the shooting, with its account contradicting what dashboard camera video showed.
On the evening of the incident, officers received a complaint about a suspect trying to break into vehicles, according to police officials. Two officers followed McDonald in their patrol car before calling for a backup officer who was equipped with a Taser. Van Dyke, one of the backup officers who arrived, allegedly got out of his vehicle with his gun drawn and started shooting as McDonald moved slightly away from him.
The defense is expected to wrap up its case on Wednesday.