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Jury finds Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder in shooting of Laquan McDonald

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A jury on Friday found Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Laquan McDonald.

In addition to being found guilty of second-degree murder, Van Dyke was also found guilty on 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. The jury did find Van Dyke not guilty, however, of a charge of official misconduct.

Although Van Dyke had actually been charged with first-degree murder, the jury was told that it could find him guilty of second-degree murder if jurors felt that it was a more appropriate charge.

Van Dyke in 2014 killed Laquan McDonald, a black Chicago teenager, when he shot at him 16 times. Although Van Dyke argued to the court that he was acting in self defense because McDonald was advancing on him, video evidence showed that McDonald was not moving toward Van Dyke at the time when the officer opened fire.

In particular, the video shows that the 17-year-old McDonald, who was carrying a knife on him at the time, was walking in a direction that was perpendicular to where Van Dyke was standing, not directly toward him.

Additionally, none of the other officers who were on the scene with Van Dyke in 2014 felt the need to fire their weapons, even after Van Dyke began discharging his own.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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