CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 24: Demonstrators march through downtown following the release of a video showing Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting and killing Laquan McDonald on November 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Van Dyke was charged today with first degree murder for the October 20, 2014 shooting in which McDonald was hit with 16 bullets.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jason Van Dyke has plead not guilty in the shooting death of McDonald.

Lauren Porter
May, 05, 2016

The former Chicago police officer whoe shot and killed Laquan McDonald will see his day in court on Thursday. CNN reports that officer Jason Van Dyke is expected to appear in front of a judge for a pre-trial hearing today. Van Dyke is charged with six counts of first-degree murder after firing 16 bullets at the 17-year-old in 15 seconds.

Officer Who Killed Laquan McDonald Allegedly Tampered With Dash Cam Audio

McDonald was killed in October 2014—a video of his chilling death was not shown to the public until November 2015. Public outcry over the video’s release resulted in Van Dyke’s suspension without pay from the force, the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and many more looking for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Selects Own Top Cop, Ignores Board Recommendation

While Van Dyke has plead not guilty to the charges, he is the first Chicago cop charged with first-degree murder since 1980. His attorney, Daniel Herbert, asked that the Cook County Sheriff’s Office offer protection for his client as he enters and exits the court building, unless he is granted permission to skip his court appearances. Herbert argued that Van Dyke, who is free on $1.5 million bond while awaiting trial, is in danger as public protests persist.

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.