CHICAGO (CBS)—Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial for killing Laquan McDonald is over for the week after four days of the defense presenting evidence.
By the end of the eighth day of testimony Thursday, it was still unclear whether Van Dyke will take the stand in his own defense.
Here are the top highlights from today in court:
- Judge Vincent Gaughan blocked defense attorneys from questioning a DCFS caseworker who worked with McDonald family members.
- A woman who called 911 about Laquan McDonald hours before he was shot and killed said he had asked to borrow her car even though she’d never met him, but in testimony that could hurt the defense, said he never acted aggressively, and “seemed like he was a nice young guy.”
- Defense attorneys called pharmacologist Dr. James Thomas O’Donnell to the stand to testify about the possible effects of PCP on McDonald. An autopsy determined McDonald had PCP in his system at the time of his death.
- Retired Chicago police firearms instructor Nicholas Pappas was called to the stand to reinforce the stance that Van Dyke received training classifying knives as deadly weapons that can penetrate bulletproof vests. Prosecutors countered that Van Dyke could have disregarded other police training protocols the night of the shooting.
- Van Dyke’s pastor, Father Ed Cronin, has received threats after attending some of the trial days. Armed guards have been seen escorting him in and out of the courthouse. His parish’s affiliated school, St. Jane De Chantal, sent a letter to parents about “around-the-clock patrols” set up near the parish school. The letter also says students will be kept indoors for recess.
The trial resumes Monday.