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Ex-Chicago cop who killed Laquan McDonald will be released from prison early

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2019, file photo, former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke is escorted into the courtroom for his sentencing hearing in Chicago, for the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald. Throughout the murder trial, prosecutors showed jurors the video seen countless times around the world of the white police officer killing a Black male. And when it was over, the jurors found the officer guilty of murder. That was in 2018. Now, as former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin waits to be sentenced for killing George Floyd, it's worth remembering what happened in Chicago after a jury convicted a white police officer in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald: The judge didn't follow prosecutors' recommended 18-20 years behind bars and instead gave Van Dyke a more lenient sentence. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)
Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke is set to be released a little more than 39 months after being sent to prison for the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

After serving a little more than 39 months of an 81-month sentence for the shooting death of a Black teen in 2014, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will be released from prison next month.The Chicago Sun Times reports that Van Dyke's release is set for Feb. 3,Van Dyke was sentenced in 2018 after being found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the October 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was eligible to take time off his prison term with credit for good behavior because he was convicted of second-degree murder, the Sun Times reported.McDonald's shooting was captured on video, which was released about a year after the killing. The dashcam video showed McDonald walking away from Van Dyke just before the officer, who is white, shot 16 times at McDonald. The shooting and the eventual release of the video led to protests in the streets of Chicago and a reckoning for the city's police department. The Justice Department issued a report in 2017 that called for a comprehensive reform of a department it accused of excessive force and civil rights violations. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.