Jason Van Dyke beaten in Connecticut prison, source confirms

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A source confirmed to ABC7 Eyewitness News Wednesday night that former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was assaulted in prison in Connecticut.

The source said he was assaulted by fellow inmates in the federal prison on the East Coast. He suffered facial injuries but is expected to be okay, the source said.

Van Dyke, 40, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison in January for the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke shot McDonald while responding to a call while on duty as a Chicago police officer. He shot McDonald 16 times.

Download the ABC7 Chicago News App

He was being held at the Rock Island County Jail in northwestern Illinois, but according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons he's now at a low-security prison in Danbury, Connecticut. It is not clear why he was transferred or if the inmates who assaulted him knew he was a police officer.

A spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police said, "We are deeply concerned about Jason's safety and we do not understand why the IDOC made the decision that led to this. We expect authorities to take the necessary steps to protect him and will not stop until we feel that they have done so."

Video of the shooting from a police dashboard camera, released more than a year later, was a key piece of evidence in the trial and inflamed public reaction across the country.

In October, jurors took a few hours over two days to determine their verdict. Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.

Recently Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the special prosecutor Joseph McMahon, who won the convictions against Van Dyke, asked the Illinois Supreme Court to review the prison sentence he had been handed. They said they believe Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan improperly applied the law in his sentencing.

"This is the first step in asking the court to declare that the trial court improperly sentenced Jason Van Dyke for the murder and aggravated battery of Laquan McDonald and to order a new sentencing hearing," Attorney General Kwame Raoul said at a news conference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.