Van Dyke breaks silence in interview with Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After years of court appearances, suspended Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke made his first public comment Wednesday since the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Van Dyke spoke about his upcoming trial. Van Dyke was charged with murder after video of McDonald's shooting became public in 2015.

McDonald, 17, had a pocket knife and appeared to be walking away from officers in the video. He was shot 16 times.

The trial begins September 5.

"I might be looking at the possibility of spending the rest of my life in prison for, you know, doing my job as I was trained as a Chicago police officer," Van Dyke said in the interview.

Van Dyke called the shooting the darkest day of his life, stating "nobody wants to shoot their gun." He recalled being overwhelmed with emotion after firing his weapon.

"I remember coming home and ...just sitting down in the shower until the water went cold, and even then I couldn't get out," Van Dyke said in the interview. "...I never would have fired my gun if I didn't think my life was in jeopardy or another citizen's life was."

"It's you know something you have to live with forever," Van Dyke said in the interview.

Van Dyke also told the Tribune that he is not a racist, he is not trigger happy, he loved his job, and he was a great officer that treated people as he would want his family to be treated.

Van Dyke said he plans to hold further comment until the trial is over.
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