Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, charged in November 2015 with first-degree murder in the shooting and killing of Laquan McDonald, was handed 16 counts of aggravated battery on Thursday, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The 16 counts represent the 16 times Van Dyke shot McDonald in the fatal encounter. The new indictment adds to Van Dyke's existing charges of six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct. According to the Chicago Tribune:
Joseph McMahon, the Kane County state’s attorney who was appointed special prosecutor in the high-profile case, offered no explanation for the move other than denying in court that he sought the new indictment to correct what Van Dyke’s attorney had labeled fatal errors in the initial charges.
This is the first time a Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality in nearly 35 years, reports the Chicago Tribune. A dashcam video of the homocide was released on Nov. 24, 2015, the same day Van Dyke was charged.
Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to the new indictment.