The Latest: Defense: Chicago officer justified in shooting

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the murder trial of white Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

A defense attorney for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 soothing of black teenager Laquan McDonald says jurors must see the case from the officer’s perspective.

Dan Herbert told jurors during closing arguments Thursday that Officer Jason Van Dyke was justified in shooting McDonald as the 17-year-old carried a small knife.

He told the jury the case is a tragedy but not a murder. He says it’s a tragedy that could have been prevented “with one simple step.” He then dramatically took out the knife McDonald used and dropped it to the floor. He also called it “preposterous” to think Van Dyke could have waited 30 seconds for someone to arrive with a Taser.

Herbert’s comments came after prosecutor Jody Gleason told jurors that an officer with a Taser was less than 30 seconds away when Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times. She says Van Dyke exaggerated the threat McDonald posed.

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10:15 a.m.

A prosecutor in the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer who shot Laquan McDonald in 2014 says the officer has exaggerated the threat the black teenager posed.

During closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutor Jody Gleason pointed to video of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times as the teenager held a knife in his right hand. She noted that Van Dyke told detectives that McDonald raised the knife, that Van Dyke backpedaled, and that McDonald tried to get up off the ground after being shot.

Gleason said, “None of that happened. You’ve seen it on video. He made it up.”

Van Dyke’s attorneys say he was afraid for his life and acted according to his training. They will present closing arguments later Thursday.

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10 a.m.

A prosecutor in the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer who shot Laquan McDonald says the black teenager wasn’t doing anything that made it necessary to kill him.

Prosecutor Jody Gleason said during closing arguments Thursday that the biggest option Officer Jason Van Dyke had when he encountered McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014, “was time.”

Van Dyke arrived after McDonald had used a small knife to puncture a tire of a squad car. Officers were waiting for someone to come with a Taser to use on the 17-year-old. Gleason says an officer with a Taser was 25 seconds away when Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times.

Van Dyke’s attorneys say he was afraid for his life and acted according to his training. They will present closing arguments later Thursday.

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11:05 p.m.

Attorneys in the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer who shot black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times are poised to make their final pitch to the jury.

Testimony wrapped up Wednesday in the trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke. The judge then announced that closing arguments would begin on Thursday morning.

Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and official misconduct in the 2014 shooting of McDonald. Prosecutors contend the shooting was not justified. Van Dyke’s attorneys argue that Van Dyke was in fear for his life and acted properly in shooting the teenager, who was armed with a knife.

Key in the trial is video that shows Van Dyke opening fire as McDonald walks at an angle away from him.

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