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Nader Issa @NaderDIssa
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The Jason Van Dyke trial resumes this morning (for real this time). IF Van Dyke testifies it'll likely be today. Follow along with @agrimm34 and me, and check out live updates from @SeidelContent on our blog. You can also watch a livestream of proceedings.…
Today's first defense witness: Dr. Laurence Miller, a psychologist who's expected to tell the jury what he believes went through Jason Van Dyke's mind before he shot #LaquanMcDonald.
Dr. Miller, a psychologist who evaluated Jason Van Dyke, says humans have a natural reaction to get away from danger. On the other hand, he says, "First responders ... they have to run into the danger." #LaquanMcDonald
Dr. Miller says he typically testifies for the defense in police shootings. For the Jason Van Dyke case, he says he reviewed police reports, postmortem reports, videos, witness statements and more to prepare for his testimony. #LaquanMcDonald
Judge Gaughan: "Whatever. Go ahead..."
The defense is going to present a slideshow called "Neuropsychology of deadly force encounters" as Dr. Miller gives his testimony. The first slide shows a Supreme Court ruling on deadly force, and prosecutors object. #LaquanMcDonald
After a brief sidebar with the judge, the defense is questioning Dr. Miller again, but the slide with the Supreme Court decision on deadly force isn't shown. Instead, jurors are seeing an illustration of a brain cell.
The defense is going through several slides with illustrations of parts of the brain as Dr. Miller discusses brain anatomy. Among the topics the psychologist is talking about are reaction time, attention and arousal.
Dr. Miller says humans go through an "ocean of emotion" before they make a decision in an emergency situation. The psychologist says people sometimes have "almost no recollection" of those events because the brain doesn't record the memories correctly.
The first 10 minutes of Dr. Miller's testimony have essentially been a high school lesson on brain anatomy and the processes the human brain goes through in an emergency/stressful situation.
Actually, the first 10 minutes of the doctor going through the slideshow. His entire testimony has lasted more than half an hour so far.
A slide called "The Deadly Force Mindset" shows jurors "perceptual distortions" in an officer's mind during police shootings. Among the so-called distortions: Slow-motion time perception, tunnel vision, tunnel hearing, muffled sounds.
Dr. Miller tells the jury that in many cases an officer can think an emergency situation, such as a police shooting, took 2 seconds, but in reality it took 15 minutes.
The psychologist tells jurors that a human's body can sometimes take over in an emergency situation because "it knows what to do." He says officers often report, "It's kind of like I went automatic... It's like my gun-hand knew what to do."
Dr. Miller, a psychologist, tells the Jason Van Dyke jury that, when an officer draws a weapon on someone, "If a person is not stupid, if they don't want to be killed, they will obey." #LaquanMcDonald
Dr. Miller says officers are severely affected after shooting someone, and they could lose sleep, second-guess themselves, worry about their children, etc. He says officers "don't necessarily enjoy taking a human life."
Dr. Miller, a psychologist testifying for the Jason Van Dyke defense, tells the jury that it's his opinion that Van Dyke "responded to what he perceived was a deadly threat" when he shot #LaquanMcDonald. He says any reasonable officer with Van Dyke's perception would do the same.
And with that, Jason Van Dyke defense attorney Dan Herbert is done questioning the officer's expert psychologist, Dr. Laurence Miller. For almost an hour, Dr. Miller gave jurors a lesson on brain anatomy, then he quickly says Van Dyke perceived a threat and his testimony is over.
On-cross examination, the prosecutor asks Dr. Miller what his fee is to serve as an expert: $10,000 for the initial evaluation and $10,000 per day for testimony.
Dr. Miller, on cross-examination, says he interviewed Jason Van Dyke over Skype. "It's no ideal, but it's acceptable," he says.

In the room with Dr. Miller was Dan Herbert, Jason Van Dyke's lead defense attorney.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Joe Cullen asks Dr. Miller if people get impatient and "lash out" when disrespected by police. Miller says yes.

Is that the same for police feeling disrespected by people? Miller says yes, but that officers are taught not to do so.
Spec. Pros. Cullen, on cross-examination, asks if people sometimes lie about a situation to make themselves look better. Dr. Miller says yes.

Cullen asks if sometimes an action perceived as a threat isn't actually a threat in reality. Dr. Miller says that's possible.
Dr. Miller says Jason Van Dyke's perception of the threat posed by #LaquanMcDonald started when he first got the call about the teenager slashing the tire on the squad car and it "built up" from there.
Judge Gaughan just found a reporter in contempt of court for recording testimony in the courtroom. The reporter was taken into custody.
Dr. Miller reveals that Jason Van Dyke told his partner, "Why don't they shoot him if he's attacking them?" The "him" is #LaquanMcDonald.

Then, 1.5 blocks away from where Van Dyke eventually shot the teenager, Van Dyke said, "Oh my God, we're going to have to shoot the guy."
While answering another question, Dr. Miller says "I don't know what Jason Van Dyke is going to say today." So... sounds like Van Dyke might testify? Stay tuned.
On redirect, Dr. Miller says he believed Jason Van Dyke was telling him the truth when the psychologist interviewed him in 2016 about the #LaquanMcDonald shooting.

On cross-examination, the prosecutor asks if "people sometimes lie to get themselves out of trouble." Answer: Yes.
And Dr. Laurence Miller, the psychologist testifying in Jason Van Dyke's defense, is off the stand.
Next defense witness: Chicago Police Detective William Johnson.
Detective Johnson testifies about cards found on #LaquanMcDonald's body at Mount Sinai Hospital. Among them is a disabled veteran's CTA card, which the jury hasn't yet heard about.
The judge allows the CTA card entered into evidence, but there's no testimony about what #LaquanMcDonald did with the card.

Van Dyke defense attorneys had wanted to tell the jury about the teen's "wild rampage" around the city before he was shot. The judge last week said no.
Court is on lunch break until 1 p.m.

When they come back, Jason Van Dyke could take the stand in his own trial.
BREAKING: Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke just took the stand in his own trial for the murder of #LaquanMcDonald.

Watch a livestream of his testimony:…
Court is on a quick break to fix some technical difficulties. Some monitors in the courtroom weren't working. So just a little longer until we hear more from Van Dyke.
Before Jason Van Dyke took the stand, Judge Gaughan brought in the reporter who was taken into custody on a finding of direct contempt of court. The judge holds the reporter on $1K bail ($100 to get out of jail). Other reporters collected the money to get him out.
Jason Van Dyke is back on the stand after technical difficulties.
Defense attorney Randy Rueckert is questioning Jason Van Dyke. The Chicago police officer is going through is employment history with CPD.
Defense attorney: "How many times have you had to draw your gun? More than 10?"

Van Dyke: "Yes."

"More than 20?"

Van Dyke says he's "unfortunately" had to draw his gun before. Had he ever fired his weapon before shooting #LaquanMcDonald

Van Dyke: "No, and I'm very proud of that."
Van Dyke says he and his partner, Joseph Walsh, were getting coffee when they heard the call from dispatchers about #LaquanMcDonald. He says he heard that tires were slashed on a squad car.
Jason Van Dyke testifies that Officer Joseph McElligott had his gun drawn when Van Dyke arrived to the scene where #LaquanMcDonald was walking. McElligot pointed them in the teenager's direction.
Jason Van Dyke says of when he first arrived to the scene, "I saw a male black in front of him, wearing blue jeans and a black hoodie, running. In his right hand I saw a knife." #LaquanMcDonald
Jason Van Dyke says he initially wanted to try to knock #LaquanMcDonald to the ground with his car door. He says his partner, Joseph Walsh, told him they were too close and to close the door and stay in the car.
Jason Van Dyke: "I immediately got out of the car ... I saw him extend out a knife, flicking it out to the side."

Van Dyke says he figures #LaquanMcDonald was about 20 feet away at that point. He saw the knife, which the officer had earlier thought had been dropped.
Jason Van Dyke says #LaquanMcDonald was "advancing on me." Van Dyke says the teenager's "face had no expression. His eyes were bugging out of his head. He had just these huge white eyes just staring right through me."
Jason Van Dyke is tearing up as he testifies, and he's wiping his tears with a napkin. He says #LaquanMcDonald never stopped "advancing" on him. Van Dyke says the teenager raised the knife when he was 10-15 feet away, and then "I shot him."
Jason Van Dyke: "I'm yelling at him, 'Drop that knife."

Defense attorney: "And he never dropped it, right?"

Van Dyke: "He never dropped it."
Jason Van Dyke testifies he was shooting at the knife in #LaquanMcDonald's hand, and that he wanted the teenager to stay on the ground because it would be easier to take him into custody on the ground.
Jason Van Dyke says he screamed into his police radio, "We need an ambulance," after he shot #LaquanMcDonald.
Direct questioning of Jason Van Dyke is done. After a short break, an assistant special prosecutor will cross-examine the Chicago cop. This cross-examination should be intense.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Jody Gleason is cross-examining #LaquanMcDonald.

She starts off with, "Why'd you shoot him?"

Van Dyke says the teenager advanced on him with a knife.
Jason Van Dyke, questioned by prosecutors about why he told investigators that #LaquanMcDonald raised a knife at him, says he was "still in shock" and can't remember what he said immediately after the shooting.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Jody Gleason asks Jason Van Dyke where on the video he sees #LaquanMcDonald raising a knife. Van Dyke blows his nose and says, "The video doesn't show my perspective.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Jody Gleason shows Jason Van Dyke the animated video of the #LaquanMcDonald shooting (the one presented by a defense witness).

Van Dyke says the animation only shows the view from the back of his head.

Does he see the teen raise a knife?

"I don't."
Assistant Special Prosecutor Jody Gleason: You're not trained to shoot at a knife, you're trained to shoot at the center mass, right?

Jason Van Dyke: "My focus was just on that knife. I just wanted him to get rid of that knife."
Jason Van Dyke says the dashcam video of the #LaquanMcDonald shooting "may not show" the teenager trying to get up off the ground after he was shot, but he adds that the video wasn't from the officer's perspective.
The prosecutor asks Jason Van Dyke why he told his partner as they drove up to the scene, "Oh my God, we're going to have to shoot this guy."

Van Dyke: "I thought the officers were under attack. The whole thing was shocking to me."
Jason Van Dyke says he initially thought he "backpedaled" after he got out of his squad car and before he shot #LaquanMcDonald. "After seeing the video countless times, I know I didn't backpedal."
Prosecutor: "You didn't even have to get out of that car, right?"

Jason Van Dyke: "You could say I didn't have to go to work that night."
Jason Van Dyke: "As an officer, you have a duty to not retreat. You have a duty to place somebody into custody."
Prosecutor: You reloaded your weapon, why didn't you continue shooting?

Jason Van Dyke: "In those couple of seconds, he had stopped moving."
Cross-examination is done.

On redirect, Jason Van Dyke says, "His back never once turned toward me. He could have made a decisive turn and walked in the opposite direction, ending it all."
Defense attorney: "Did you think you were going to get attacked?"

Jason Van Dyke: "Yes."
On re-cross, Assistant Special Prosecutor Jody Gleason asks Jason Van Dyke, "You could have ended it all the minute he hit the ground, right?"

Van Dyke says he kept shooting because he thought #LaquanMcDonald was getting up off the ground.
Jason Van Dyke has stepped off the stand. That is likely the end of the defense case.
Turns out that's not the end of the defense case.

One more witness: Barry Brodd, a police use of force expert testifying in Jason Van Dyke's defense.

The prosecution had its own use of force expert last week, who said Jason Van Dyke wasn't justified in shooting #LaquanMcDonald.
Brodd, a defense expert on police use of force, says "I feel that Officer Van Dyke's shooting of Laquan McDonald was justified."
Jason Van Dyke defense attorney Dan Herbert hands Brodd a toy knife and measures out a distance of 13 feet. Brodd then starts yelling as he sprints at Herbert with the knife over his head. Herbert has his hands out, as if pointing a gun.
Brodd, an expert on police use of force, yelled "stab! stab! stab! stab! stab!" as he held a toy knife over his head and rushed at Dan Herbert, Jason Van Dyke's defense attorney who stood 13 feet away in the courtroom.
Judge Gaughan excuses the jury for the day and tells them he'll see them tomorrow. That's the end of witness testimony for today.
"We're getting towards the end," Judge Gaughan says of the Jason Van Dyke trial.

Tomorrow, the defense will officially rest its case. Then the prosecution will have a chance for a rebuttal before closing statements.
Court is in recess until tomorrow morning.
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