I wrote this in 2015:
The video is out. Finally. After long attempts to sweep it under the rug failed.Now of course I know that in a court of law anything Van Dyke did in the past is irrelevant to his guilt or innocence is this criminal case. Whether he was a "bad" cop or not is irrelevant and inadmissible in a court of law. But I'm mentioning it because I'm not a court of law.
It's a bad shooting.... The officer who killed McDonald fits the pattern of bad cops: high activity, drug work, too many complaints. Sure, all the complaints weren't justified, but some of them were. And undoubtedly he did a lot of bad shit that people didn't file formal complaints about.
And second-degree murder seems correct. It meets these conditions:
Intended to kill or do great bodily harm to that individual (or knew that the act would do so); orCombined with this mitigating factor:
Knows that the acts create a strong probability of causing death or great bodily harm to the individual.
At the time of the killing, he/she believed that the killing would have been lawfully justified but the belief was unreasonable.Van Dyke had options not limited to A) doing nothing, B) not shooting, and C) not continuing to pump rounds into McDonald after McDonald was down. As judged by this former police officer, I say Van Dyke was not reasonable.