Laquan McDonald shooting: Chicago cop held on $1.5 million bail

Last week's release of a video showing the officer shooting Mr. McDonald 16 times has rocked Chicago, setting off protests and the shutdown of the University of Chicago over an online threat that appeared to be related to the shooting.

Nam Y. Huh/AP
Protesters make their way up North Michigan Avenue on Friday, in Chicago as community activists and labor leaders hold a demonstration billed as a 'march for justice' in the wake of the release of video showing an officer fatally shooting Laquan McDonald.

A judge Monday set bond at $1.5 million for a white Chicago police officer charged with murdering a black teenager last year by shooting the young man 16 times. The bond amount means officer will need $150,000 to be released.

Officer Jason Van Dyke has been in custody since November 24, when prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

On the same day, the city released footage from a police dashboard camera showing Laquan, who had been caught breaking into trucks and was carrying a small knife, walking down a street before being shot repeatedly by Officer Van Dyke.

A Cook County judge ordered the city to release the video last week, ruling in favor of freelance journalist Brandon Smith, who sued under the state's open records law. The city had fought Smith to keep the video out of public view, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Its release has rocked Chicago, causing not only disruptive protests that blocked off part of Michigan Avenue in the downtown shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile on Black Friday, but also the shutdown of University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus on Monday over an online threat to kill 16 white male students or staff in what appears to be retaliation for the shooting of McDonald.

The Chicago Tribune reports that one person was arrested in connection with the threat: a student from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has not been charged yet, reports the Tribune, which also reports that federal sources said the threat did not appear to be credible.

According to a police report obtained by the Tribune, a New York resident called the FBI to report a post he saw online, where the commenter threatened to shoot and kill students, staff, and police on the campus at 10 a.m. Monday and then himself, in retaliation for the shooting of McDonald.

The FBI agent in New York could not find the post but that it was credible enough for the agent to alert the Chicago FBI office and university police.

The university said Monday afternoon that plans for Tuesday would be announced late on Monday.

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

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