CHICAGO (CBS) — Defense attorneys for Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke showed jurors a 3D animation showing a recreation of the first few shots the officer fired at Laquan McDonald four years ago, in an effort to bolster his claim the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald was a justified act of self defense.
Jason Fries, CEO of 3D Forensic, and a specialist in video reconstruction, created the video using dashboard camera footage, security video from a nearby Dunkin Donuts, and laser scanning of the area where McDonald was shot. The videos shown to the jury included a recreation of the first few shots from an aerial view, a side view, and from Van Dyke’s perspective.
Van Dyke’s defense team also plans to call other expert witnesses, including a ballistics expert, and a use-of-force expert as they continue to present their case this week.
The defense also has sought to put the spotlight on McDonald’s troubled past, and paint him as a violent and aggressive teenager. Three witnesses testified Monday about encounters with McDonald long before the shooting, describing hostile, antagonistic, and combative behavior.
Outside of court, gang member turned activist William Calloway called for a gang truce ahead of any verdict in the trial.
“I want everyone in the city of Chicago to put the guns down. All the gangs inside the city of Chicago, I am calling for a citywide peace treaty. We want the gangs to put the guns down and join our fight for social justice,” he said.
Calloway said he is concerned an acquittal for Van Dyke could lead to violence. He said if Van Dyke is not convicted of murder, the response in the city should be peaceful.
CBS 2 has live updates.
Watch the trial live:
The defense shows jurors an animated video, created by an expert witness, which shows both the dashcam video, and a 3D animation showing a recreation of the shooting from a side view, and from Jason Van Dyke’s perspective.
A distance counter at the top of the video indicated McDonald moved from 39 feet away from Van Dyke to 14 feet in the few seconds before the officer opened fire.
Jason Fries, CEO of 3D Forensic, and a specialist in video reconstruction, takes the stand for the defense. His company created a video animation which the defense says will show the shooting from Jason Van Dyke’s perspective.
Defense attorneys sought to call a Chicago police officer to testify about an encounter with a woman who called police, alleging a man was trying to steal her car. However, when the officer arrived and chased down the suspect, the woman said she didn’t want to press charges, so the officer did not make an arrest, and cannot identify the suspect as McDonald. Judge Vincent Gaughan said the officer cannot testify, but the defense indicated they might call the woman to testify herself, and she might identify McDonald as the man she saw.
Dina Randazzo, Laquan McDonald’s probation officer, testifies about a court hearing in August 2013, when McDonald became combative with sheriff’s officers after a judge ordered him taken into custody.
Judge Vincent Gaughan allowed the defense to present their forensic pathologist’s Powerpoint presentation on Laquan McDonald’s autopsy to the jury as “substantive evidence” they can review during deliberations. The judge then denied a defense request to present the jury with a disabled veteran’s CTA card allegedly found on McDonald’s body. However, the judge said there’s no evidence McDonald used it, and insufficient evidence of who found it on McDonald’s body.