Jason Van Dyke Trial Update: Opening statements and witness testimonies

The seventh day of the Jason Van Dyke trial is in the books. With the jury and location of the trial set in Chicago, witness testimonies are now being considered. 

Both sides gave their opening statements to the jury on Monday, September 17, 2018. The prosecution made it clear, for the first time, that race will be a part of their case. Jason Van Dyke’s legal team defended their client, saying he feared for his life and was just doing his duty when he shot and killed LaQuan McDonald. 

The crucial part of the proceedings were witness testimonies. The state brought two officers who were at the scene. Both officers confirmed that LaQuan McDonald was holding a knife and both testified that they did not believe their lives were in danger. One officer said he was waiting for a taser team, opting for non-lethal force. Both officers explained they did not have a taser at the time, saying "there aren’t enough to go around."

The state continues to question their witnesses and soon the defense will bring on their own witnesses to bolster their case.