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Jason Van Dyke, Officer Charged With Murdering Laquan McDonald, Out On Bond

By  Erica Demarest and Evan F.  Moore | November 30, 2015 10:39am | Updated on November 30, 2015 5:46pm

 Officer Jason Van Dyke (inset) and in hoodie, is released on bond from Cook County Jail.
Officer Jason Van Dyke (inset) and in hoodie, is released on bond from Cook County Jail.
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DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

CHICAGO — The Chicago Police officer charged with murder in the 16-bullet, videotaped shooting of a 17-year-old walked out of Cook County Jail Monday evening after posting 10 percent of his $1.5 million bail.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, at the center of the firestorm over his 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald, was at the center of a chaotic media scrum after bonding out of the Cook County Jail just after 5 p.m..

His supporters shoved a path through the media as videographers craned to get an angle and reporters shouted out questions, a scene that played out in a light rain and on local TV stations' live 5 p.m. newscasts.

Van Dyke, wearing a gray hoodie, did not answer questions before getting into a black pickup truck and being driven off.

Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. earlier Monday set the bail for Van Dyke, setting off a fund-raising push by the local branch of the Fraternal Order of Police. 

"The law affords you the presumption of innocence," Judge Panarese said.

During an initial hearing last week, Panarese ordered Van Dyke held without bail, saying he wanted to see the graphic video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald before reconsidering. 

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's About Defending Someone Who Did What He Felt Was Required

Van Dyke returned to court Monday, where Panarese watched the video on a laptop before a standing-room-only courtroom. Van Dyke was there in a khaki jumpsuit, with two extra deputies escorting him.

"There's no audio, correct?" Panarese asked.

"There's no audio, judge," Assistant State's Attorney William Delaney responded.

Delaney asked Panarese to continue holding Van Dyke without bail, but defense attorney Dan Herbert said his client is not a flight risk and should get bail.

"There's a presumption of innocence and bond is not meant to be punitive," Herbert said.

Panarese then ordered Van Dyke held in lieu of $1.5 million bail, meaning Van Dyke needed to post $150,000 to be free until his next hearing.

After court, Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo said the union will not contribute toward Van Dyke's bond, but supporters can donate to an account they've set up.

A post on the union's website says "Anyone wishing to donate to the JVD Bond Fund may do so at any of the four locations of the Chicago Patrolmens' Federal Credit Union. Please send a check made payable to Tiffany Van Dyke."

Herbert attorney said Van Dyke "is prepared for the long haul" and "scared for consequences he'll be facing."

The video shows Van Dyke, 37, getting out of his police SUV and shooting McDonald multiple times. Authorities said he hit him 16 times, emptying his gun, including many shots while McDonald was on the ground.

RELATED: Read the Charges Against Jason Van Dyke, Officer Who Shot Laquan McDonald

Police union officials initially said McDonald lunged at them with a knife. The video shows McDonald holding a knife and spinning while walking down the middle of the street, not toward the officer. 

Prosecutors said Van Dyke was reloading his weapon — after he had emptied it into McDonald — when his partner asked him to hold his fire. 

Van Dyke's attorney Daniel Herbert told WGN Monday that the video doesn't show the whole story. 

"There's no question that my client was scared and feared for his life," he told WGN. 

Monday's court appearance by Van Dyke filled Panarese's courtroom, but still drew a significantly smaller crowd to the courthouse than Van Dyke's original bond hearing, which drew protesters outside the building.

Ronald Jackson, a self-proclaimed "concerned citizen," was one of the few protesters to set up outside Monday's hearing.

"This has to be about accountability. We have to show that we are not going to stand for this," Jackson said. "This is a crisis. We need leadership."

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