The Latest: Attorney: Van Dyke’s injuries not serious
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on an attack in prison of Chicago officer convicted of killing black teen Laquan McDonald (all times local):
An attorney for the white Chicago police officer convicted in the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald says the officer told her that another inmate at a Connecticut prison “jumped” him and punched him a few times but that he wasn’t seriously injured.
Jennifer Blagg said Thursday that Jason Van Dyke told her and another appellate attorney during a phone call that he had been assaulted shortly after he was transferred from a state prison in Illinois to a federal prison in Connecticut.
She said Van Dyke told her that he’s since been moved away from other inmates for his protection. The federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that an assault happened on Feb. 7 resulting in “minor injuries.” It provided no other details.
Earlier Thursday, Van Dyke’s wife spoke at an emotional news conference where she demanded to know why precautions weren’t taken to keep her husband safe.
An attorney for the white Chicago police officer convicted in the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald says the officer was beaten by fellow inmates within hours of his transfer from an Illinois prison to a federal prison in Connecticut.
Tammy Wendt told reporters Thursday that Jason Van Dyke was placed in general population by prison officials who she says didn’t take steps to ensure he wouldn’t be attacked by other inmates.
Wendt says Van Dyke told his appellate attorneys about the attack in a phone call. Wendt served on Van Dyke’s defense team at trial, where he was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery.
Wendt and Van Dyke’s wife say they’ve not been able to talk to him since his transfer to federal custody.
The Illinois Department of Corrections confirmed in a written statement Thursday that Van Dyke was transferred from state custody but did not say why. The federal bureau of prisons declined to comment.
The wife of a white Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald says her husband has been assaulted by inmates in his cell at a Connecticut prison.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Tiffany Van Dyke said Wednesday that Jason Van Dyke had been placed in the prison’s general population before being assaulted. She told the newspaper that she and others “are all petrified and in fear for Jason’s life.”
She says her husband “never should have been in the general population.”
The newspaper says Van Dyke was at the Rock Island County Jail in Rock Island, Illinois, before the move earlier this month to the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut.
A spokesperson for the Connecticut prison wasn’t available for comment Wednesday night.
Van Dyke had been kept out of the Illinois jail’s general population.
Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in October for McDonald’s 2014 shooting.
Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://chicago.suntimes.com/