(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

Cop May Have Thought Laquan McDonald Had 'Knife-Gun,' Testimony Suggests

September 26, 2018 - 3:17 pm

(AP) -- A Chicago police officer has told jurors at the trial of a white officer charged with murder in the shooting of Laquan McDonald that he once told officers to beware of people possibly carrying guns disguised as knives.

The testimony came Wednesday as defense attorneys sought to bolster their argument that Jason Van Dyke legitimately saw McDonald as a threat before shooting him 16 times as he walked away carrying a knife.

William Schield said he raised the prospect with officers in 2012, two years before McDonald was killed, about knives specially fashioned to shoot bullets. The implication was that Van Dyke could have imagined McDonald had such a device.

But Schield said in cross-examination that neither he nor any officers he knew ever came across such a device.

Truck driver Rudy Barillas testified McDonald tried to stab him with the knife earlier on the night he was killed.

Also Wednesday, witness Leticia Velez said when she saw McDonald he was holding his side. She told jurors she thought that might mean he had a gun. She also said that McDonald "looked deranged."

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)