A white Chicago police officer accused in the fatal shooting of a black 17-year-old is now facing 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm to the first-degree murder charges issued by a grand jury.
The new indictment was announced during at a Thursday hearing. The special prosecutor and attorneys for former Officer Jason Van Dyke didn’t discuss the new charges.
According to a report by CBS Chicago, Van Dyke, 38, is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. A shocking dash cam video of the incident was released prompting protests across the country, after which he was charged last year. Police suspended Van Dyke without pay for a year and half and are trying to fire him.
In January Van Dyke’s defense attorneys submitted a three-page motion to try and dismiss the indictment. They argued that statements he had made to investigators were inappropriately used against him.
Judge Vincent Gaughan was told by Daniel Herbert, Van Dyke’s defense attorney, that the new motion focused on a “whole different set of irregularities that were done” before the grand jury. Herbert entered a “not guilty” plea for Van Dyke on the new battery charges.
The new counts:
On Feb. 3, Van Dyke’s defense attorneys filed another motion aiming at dismissing the murder charges. They claimed that the Cook County state’s attorney’s office deceived the grand jury weighing in on the 2014 shooting.
Felony counts against Van Dyke are up to 23 now with the new indictment. The former police officer faces six counts of first-degree murder, one count of official misconduct and now 16 aggravated battery counts.