A state prosecutor charged Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder Tuesday for shooting black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, marking the first time an on-duty officer in Chicago has been charged with murder in 35 years. The news comes as the city prepares to publicly release video footage of the incident, which took place last October.
The footage, captured by a dashboard camera in a police car, allegedly shows McDonald walking away from police with a small knife in hand. As he is walking away, Van Dyke "can allegedly be seen opening fire from about 15 feet and continuing to shoot even after McDonald fell to the ground, hitting McDonald a total of 16 times," ABC News reports. McDonald was reportedly hit with two shots in the back.
Police say that McDonald had been ordered to drop the knife and had refused to do so. Van Dyke has turned himself in to authorities and is scheduled to appear at a bond hearing later Tuesday.
Van Dyke had been on paid administrative leave since the shooting in October 2014. Prior to the lawsuit being filed, the city had offered a $5 million settlement to McDonald's family in April.