By Barnini Chakraborty
Published February 11, 2019
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday asked the state's highest court to re-sentence Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer found guilty last month in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
Raoul and special prosecutor Joseph McMahon believe Judge Vincent Gaughan did not properly apply the law when he sentenced Van Dyke to six years and nine months in prison, and now want the Illinois Supreme Court to send the case back to Gaughan for a new - and harsher- sentence.
Absent a new sentence and with credit for good behavior, Van Dyke will likely serve only around three years for firing 16 bullets in less than 30 seconds into McDonald in 2014. Last month's decision was met with anger and disappointment by activists who believe the veteran police officer got off easy in the shooting.
Monday's move is one of the first acts by Raoul after taking office in January and is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that has polarized Chicago and garnered national attention over how to police minority communities.
During sentencing, Van Dyke said he prayed "daily for the soul of Laquan McDonald."
"I will have to live with this the rest of my life ... taking it to my grave," he said, adding: "I was a police officer trying to make dangerous decisions. No one wants to take a life."
Prosecutors called up several black motorists who testified that Van Dyke had a history of using racial slurs and excessive force during traffic stops in the years before the 2014 shooting.