Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, currently on trial for the October 2014 killing of unarmed teenager LaQuan McDonald, walked out of Cook County Jail today. Van Dyke was wearing a Bulletproof Vest and protected by several uniformed Chicago police officers.
Van Dyke was able to leave after Judge Vincent Gaughan increased his bond by $2,000. This adjustment was in response to him giving media interviews. Giving press interviews was a direct violation of a decorum order that barred him and others involved in the case from making public statements.
The judge reiterated that this gag order was one of nine conditions of Van Dyke’s $1.5 million bail. Specifically, the judge determined the interviews violated the second condition. That general condition was that all involved parties must “obey all court orders and processes.”
Defense attorneys argued Van Dyke’s First Amendment, right to free speech, entitled him to speak with the press. The judge found that in this case, because of the court’s decorum order, Van Dyke and others involved in the case were specifically barred from talking publicly about the case.