CHICAGO (CBS)–After a jury convicted Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder and aggravated battery charges, his lead defense attorney said he expected the jury to convict the Chicago police officer of at least some charges.
“We don’t believe the evidence supported the conviction, but at the end of the day with the Cook County jury and with the pressure we had in this case, we started it 50 yards behind the starting line,” defense attorney Dan Herbert said.
Speaking to reporters in the court house after Van Dyke was taken into custody, Herbert said it was a “sad day for law enforcement.”
He compared Van Dyke’s conviction to the narrative of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The unrest that followed the shooting left police unable to do their jobs as crime ran rampant through the city.
“We’ve all heard about about the Ferguson effect, and I can only imagine that if police officers think that they can never fire against someone acting the way Laquan McDonald did when they’re 12 feet away from him, I think that what we’re going to have is police officers are going to become security guards,” Herbert said.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham echoed Herbert’s disappointment, but said he didn’t think the verdict would spark violence among protestors who flooded the city Friday afternoon.
“We do think that things in the city will be calm tonight and we think Jason has a tough road to go right now but he is not standing alone,” Graham said.
Herbert consoled Van Dyke after the verdict was read, telling him the odds were stacked against him from the beginning.
“You just went into a heavyweight boxing match with Mike Tyson and you went in with both hands tied behind your back and you’re still standing,” Herbert said, recounting the remarks he made to Van Dyke.
Van Dyke’s fight is not over, however. Graham told reporters the defense plans to appeal the verdict.