CHICAGO — A grand jury added 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm to the first-degree murder charges against a white Chicago police officer accused in the fatal shooting of a black 17-year-old.
A special prosecutor and attorneys for former Officer Jason Van Dyke didn’t discuss the new indictment announced during at a Thursday hearing.
Van Dyke, 38, is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014, CBS Chicago reports. He wasn’t charged until last year after a shocking dash cam video of the incident was released and prompted protests across the country. Police suspended Van Dyke without pay for a year and half and are trying to fire him.
Defense attorneys filed a three-page motion in January trying to dismiss the indictment. They argued statements Van Dyke made to investigators were improperly used against him.
Daniel Herbert told Judge Vincent Gaughan 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.
Attorneys for the police officer filed a second motion on Feb. 3 seeking to dismiss the murder charges. They alleged the Cook County state’s attorney’s office misled a grand jury weighing in on the 2014 shooting.
The new indictment brings to 23 the number of felony counts against Van Dyke. He faces six counts of first-degree murder, one count of official misconduct and now 16 aggravated battery counts.
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