Jason Van Dyke’s Sentence in Laquan McDonald Murder Challenged by Illinois Attorney General, Special Prosecutor

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Special Prosecutor Joe McMahon are challenging the prison sentence of former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for the fatal 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Raoul said he is specifically challenging the judge’s decision to sentence Van Dyke for second-degree murder, not aggravated battery. If Van Dyke just serves for the second-degree murder charge he is only required to serve about half his sentence under good-time provisions. Had he been sentenced on the aggravated battery charges, he would have had to serve at least 85 percent of that time.

McMahon said he is still satisfied with the sentence, but wants to make sure it is lawful. The special prosecutor said he’s stayed in touch with McDonald’s family, and believes they are supportive of this move. It’s been less than a month since Van Dyke’s controversial sentence was handed down. Activists expected a stiffer punishment after a jury found Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. If the sentence stands, Van Dyke would likely serve a little more than three years after shooting the 17-year-old 16 times.