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Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, pleaded not guilty Monday before being placed on a $1.5 million bond.

According to Reuters, the hearing comes nearly a week after the 37-year-old turned himself into authorities following the release of dashcam footage of the October 2014 shooting.

Further investigation also revealed officers may have destroyed surveillance footage from a local fast food chain that caught possible key moments leading up to the shooting. The video released showed McDonald walking away from police in the middle of the street. Van Dyke shot the teenager 16 times. He is currently facing a first-degree charge that carries a life sentence in jail.

During the bond hearing Monday afternoon, prosecutors claimed Van Dyke fired his gun six seconds after getting out of his car to approach McDonald, who was holding a knife.

After watching the video, Judge Donald Panarese issued the $1.5 million bond to Van Dyke.

The Police Department suspended Van Dyke without pay last week. After the shooting, he was initially placed on paid desk duty. The Chicago Tribune reports State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez waited to publically charge Van Dyke until interviews with witnesses were complete.

One witness says McDonald never lunged at the officers or made any threatening motions towards the police. Calling the footage chilling, Alvarez previously told reporters Van Dyke’s actions were not justified as a proper use of deadly force.

SOURCE: ReutersThe Chicago Tribune | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform


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