CHICAGO -- Bail was set at $1.5 million for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder after a squad car video caught him fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times, reports CBS Chicago.
Amid a throng of media, officer Jason Van Dyke posted bond and left jail shortly after 5 p.m. local time. He had been locked up since Nov. 24, when prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The bond amount meant Van Dyke needed $150,000 to be released.
On the same day Van Dyke was charged, authorities released the dashcam video that shows McDonald - armed with a small knife and walking down a street on the city's southwest side - being shot repeatedly by the 37-year-old Van Dyke.
A judge had ordered the video released the previous week. On Tuesday, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said she had decided a few weeks earlier to charge Van Dyke with murder and was planning to announce charges in a month. But knowing the intense public anger that the sight of the "chilling" video would generate, she announced the charges before the video's release in an effort to encourage calm.
In the audio-free video, McDonald can be seen walking down the middle of a four-lane street. He appears to veer away from two officers as they emerge from a vehicle, drawing their guns. One of the officers, Van Dyke, opens fire from close range. McDonald spins around and crumples to the ground. The officer continues to fire.
The judge reportedly set the bail after reviewing the video Monday. In bond court, prosecutors argued that the officer should be held without bail until his trial, reports the Chicago Tribune. But Van Dyke's lawyer, Daniel Herbert, countered that Van Dyke didn't post a flight risk.
Herbert has said that his client feared for his life, acted lawfully and that the video does not tell the whole story. After court Monday, he told reporters, "Despite what you heard in that courtroom, this is not a murder case," according to the Tribune.
Police have said that McDonald was carrying a knife and an autopsy revealed that he had PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, in his system. Alvarez said last week that the 3-inch blade recovered from the scene had been folded into the handle.
Protesters have marched on Chicago's streets since the video's release. The largest and most disruptive protest blocked off part of Michigan Avenue in the downtown shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile on Black Friday, preventing access to big name stores on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
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