CHICAGO (CBS) — For the second time at the murder trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, an FBI expert will take the stand to testify about a slow-motion, enhanced video of the shooting, a day after the judge told jurors to disregard his testimony.
Judge Vincent Gaughan had thrown out FBI video analyst Mark Messick’s testimony on Tuesday, along with the video, after defense attorneys objected to arrows pointing to where he believed the bullets hit Laquan McDonald’s body when Van Dyke shot him in 2014. Gaughan ruled Messick was not an expert in ballistics, and jurors could not consider his testimony.
On Wednesday, special prosecutor Joseph McMahon filed a motion asking Gaughan to reconsider his ruling. After meeting with prosecutors and defense attorneys in his chambers, the judge ruled Messick can testify again, but not about bullet trajectories and impacts.
Gaughan might allow the video back into evidence after a ballistics expert and a pathologist from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office testify.
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Rev. Jesse Jackson joined McDonald’s great uncle, Rev. Marvin Hunter, who spoke to reporters during a break in the testimony.
Hunter said he is pleased with the progress in the case, and is confident Jason Van Dyke will be convicted.
“Once he is convicted, it’s going to say to African Americans in Chicago and around this country that we can get justice,” “At this point, we have no precedent that says that an African American can get justice in this country when they are shot down in cold blood by a police officer.”
Hunter said the case is about more than Jason Van Dyke.
“Justice is on trial. Not Jason Van Dyke. Justice is on trial,” Hunter added. “The Cook County criminal justice system, before this day, we believe was corrupt from the bottom to the top,” he said. “Now we have an opportunity to show the world that maybe it wasn’t, we just needed to put forth the effort to make it work for the citizenry of Cook County and Chicago.”
Judge Vincent Gaughan called for a lunch break after a forensic pathologist testified about the autopsy of Laquan McDonald. Defense attorneys will get to cross-examine the pathologist after lunch.
Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived at the courthouse to attend the trial. He said he and other supporters of McDonald’s family planned to be in court every day.
“This must be a case that defines – just for us in the city, and across our nation – the most heinous crime since the lynching of Emmett Till,” Jackson said.
Dr. Ponni Arunkumar, a forensic pathologist and chief medical examiner for Cook County, took the stand late this morning to testify about the autopsy on Laquan McDonald. She said McDonald died of multiple gunshot wounds, and was alive for each of the 16 wounds he suffered.
Illinois State Police forensic firearms examiner Gregory Brate testifies about bullets and shell casings from the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.
Today’s second witness is Chicago Fire Department firefighter/paramedic Mark Smith, who treated Laquan McDonald in the ambulance after the shooting.
Wednesday’s first witness was Mount Sinai nurse Allan Gayan, who was working in the emergency room the night Laquan McDonald was brought in after he was shot.