Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Stories by Matt Masterson

Van Dyke Trial Jurors Hear About Knife Attack, Use of Force Policy

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke and defense attorney Elizabeth Fleming listen to testimony Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 during the seventh day of the trial. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Attorneys for suspended Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke wrapped up their third day of defense by calling a truck driver who they believe was attacked by Laquan McDonald the night the fatal shooting, and an instructor from Chicago’s police academy.

Van Dyke Defense Presents Fatal Shooting from Officer’s Perspective

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 during the trial. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Jason Van Dyke’s attorneys presented expert testimony and an animated video that purports to show how the shooting occurred from Van Dyke’s perspective during the sixth day of the high-profile murder trial.

Van Dyke Defense Opens with Testimony of Laquan McDonald’s Past

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens during the fifth day of the trial on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Jason Van Dyke is the one facing murder charges, but his attorneys on Monday painted teen Laquan McDonald as a violent drug user who became aggressive when under the influence of PCP.

6 Key Points From Week 1 of the Jason Van Dyke Murder Trial

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens to court proceedings on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 as lights are turned off for a video clip. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Prosecutors wrapped up their case this week in the high-profile murder trial, which saw testimony from Jason Van Dyke’s partner, eyewitnesses at the scene and the county’s chief medical examiner. Notes from the first four days of testimony.

State Rests its Case Against Van Dyke as Week 1 of Murder Trial Concludes

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens during the fourth day of trial on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

After four days of testimony from two dozen witnesses, special prosecutors rested their case against Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke in his murder trial for the shooting of teen Laquan McDonald. 

Jurors See Graphic Autopsy Photos on Day 3 of Van Dyke Murder Trial

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, right, stands with attorneys during the trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Jurors spent hours Wednesday staring at graphic autopsy photos and hearing explicit details about where and how each of the 16 bullets fired by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke struck the body of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. A recap from the day’s proceedings.

Van Dyke’s Partner Takes Stand, Claims Shooting Was ‘Necessary Action’

Day 2 of witness testimony in the high-profile murder trial

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens in as an image showing the shooting death of Laquan McDonald is displayed during the trial on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Even after he’d been shot 16 times, Laquan McDonald still posed a threat because he held a knife in his hand. That’s what the partner of Jason Van Dyke testified during the second day of arguments in the high-profile murder trial.

Van Dyke Trial to Stay in Cook County as Arguments Get Underway

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens in as lights are turned off for a video clip during the trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Defense attorneys have argued a fair trial in Cook County is impossible. But the judge in the high-profile murder case said jurors should be believed when they say they’ll be impartial. More from the first day of arguments.

Van Dyke Opts for Jury Trial as Venue Decision Looms

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens to court arguments during a hearing Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A 12-person jury will decide Jason Van Dyke’s fate. That decision comes only days before opening arguments are expected to begin in the high-profile murder trial.

Van Dyke Defense to Decide Friday if They’ll Face Judge or Jury

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens to testimony at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, during a hearing on the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Twelve jurors have been selected. Eleven have been sworn in. Suspended Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke and his attorneys have one more day to decide if they want a jury trial or a bench trial, with opening arguments expected as soon as Monday.

Van Dyke Case: Jury Selection Continues as Defense Weighs Trial Options

From left: Special prosecutor Joe McMahon, attorney Daniel Herbert and his client, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, attend a hearing on Sept. 4, 2018 concerning the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

The lead attorney for Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke says it’s too early to decide whether he will opt for a jury or bench trial. Meanwhile, day two of jury selection brought the total number to 10.

Study: Civilian Complaints Can be Used to Predict Future Police Misconduct

Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago found that Chicago police officers with the highest number of complaints are responsible for a significantly higher share of civil litigation payouts.

Van Dyke Case: First Jurors Selected as Murder Trial Gets Underway

Empty jury box area readied for members of the jury in the courtroom of Judge Vincent Gaughan at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

Several potential jurors were excused Monday, but attorneys did select five jurors – three women and two men – in the high-profile murder case. Jury selection could last more than a week.

Van Dyke Case: Defense Asks Judge to Toss Jury Pool Because of Protests

Protesters stand outside the Leighton Criminal Court building Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, the first day of jury selection in Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Attorneys for the Chicago police officer charged with murder have asked for the entire 200-person jury pool to be stricken due to their exposure to protesters carrying signs urging them to “convict Jason Van Dyke.”

Van Dyke Case: McDonald Family Calls for Peace as Trial Set to Begin

From left: Special prosecutor Joe McMahon, attorney Daniel Herbert and his client, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, attend a hearing on Sept. 4, 2018 concerning the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

A bombshell announcement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a rare public statement from Laquan McDonald’s family set the scene on the eve of Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial.

Who’s Who in the High-Profile Murder Trial of Jason Van Dyke

Police dashcam footage captured the shooting of Laquan McDonald, center, on a Southwest Side street in 2014.

These are the names you need to know as the murder trial of suspended police Officer Jason Van Dyke gets underway.

Van Dyke Case: Judge Won’t Rule on Bond Violation Until Next Week

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke walks over to the judge's bench at the start of the hearing on the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune)

A Cook County judge will hear further arguments next week after prosecutors accused the suspended Chicago police officer of violating the terms of his bond.

Prosecutors Want Bail Revoked After Officer Van Dyke Speaks Out

Special prosecutor Joseph McMahon, left, and defense attorney Daniel Herbert approach the bench at a hearing for Jason Van Dyke hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Thursday, March 8, 2018. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

After he gave interviews this week with local media, prosecutors say Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke should be held in contempt of court because speaking about the case directly violates a judge’s order to remain silent.

Van Dyke Case: ‘The More You Dig Into This, The Less Open-And-Shut It Is’

Examining the high-profile trial through the eyes of a defense attorney

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke watches as a clip from “The Blue Wall” documentary is shown at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Steven Greenberg knows his way around a courtroom. And he knows how to prepare for a high-profile murder trial. The longtime defense attorney weighs in on the impending trial of Jason Van Dyke.

Stateville Debate: Former Coach Suing to Keep Prison Team Alive

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Katrina Burlet, who coached the prison's debate team, says she was banned from all correctional facilities after her program was shut down. She hopes a new lawsuit will restore her team.

Ride-Hailing Drivers Accused in String of Near North Robberies

Two women acting as ride-hailing service drivers have reportedly robbed multiple riders at gunpoint across the Near North Side in recent months, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Chicago Police Warn of Cab, Ride-Hailing Robberies in Old Town

Authorities are looking for two to three men they believe are responsible for five robberies in the area this month.

Guilty Verdict for Gunman in Hadiya Pendleton Murder

Defendant Micheail Ward during the trial for the fatal shooting of Hadiya Pendleton at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Aug. 21, 2018. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune / Pool). Inset: Hadiya Pendleton.

A Cook County jury took about three hours to convict the man accused of fatally shooting 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton at a Kenwood park on the South Side in 2013.

CPS Limiting Phone, Social Media Contact Between Students and Teachers

(terimakasih0 / Pixabay)

District leaders are updating policies on how students and staff can digitally communicate as it works to root out sexual misconduct inside its schools.

CPS to Update Volunteer Policies in Wake of Sex Abuse Scandal

The names of prospective district volunteers must now be run through sex offender registries and the statewide list of violent offenders before they can be hired.