Now playing
01:19
Former police officer sentenced in Chicago killing
PHOTO: CBS
Now playing
01:46
Dr. Birx: Trump presented graphs that I never made
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:25
Biden's HHS secretary pick: If we do this, we will get the pandemic under control
Unit photography of CNN 35 year anniversary documentary photographed on Monday, April 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. Subjects were former CNN anchors Larry King and Jim Moret.

Photo by John Nowak/CNN
Unit photography of CNN 35 year anniversary documentary photographed on Monday, April 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. Subjects were former CNN anchors Larry King and Jim Moret. Photo by John Nowak/CNN
PHOTO: John Nowak/CNN
Now playing
02:38
Larry King's CNN legacy
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attends a press conference with Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) about their new bill called the EV Freedom Act on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. The EV Freedom Act is a plan to create a nation wide charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attends a press conference with Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) about their new bill called the EV Freedom Act on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. The EV Freedom Act is a plan to create a nation wide charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Now playing
03:35
Rioter charged with threatening to 'assassinate' Ocasio-Cortez, officer
Now playing
07:26
'What research did you do?': Brown presses GOP lawmaker on election fraud claims
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. The White House held its first Coronavirus Task Force briefing in months as cases of COVID-19 are surging across the country ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.  (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. The White House held its first Coronavirus Task Force briefing in months as cases of COVID-19 are surging across the country ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Now playing
01:15
Birx says she 'always' considered quitting Trump's Covid-19 task force
Now playing
01:33
Chuck Schumer announces timeline for Trump impeachment
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:53
'We're left high and dry': Vulnerable seniors struggle to get vaccine
Registered nurse Irene Musni administers the COVID-19 vaccine into the arm of a senior citizen at the Corona High School gymnasium in the Riverside County city of Corona, California on January 15, 2021, a day after California began offering the coronavirus vaccine to residents 65 and older. - US President-elect Joe Biden was set to announce his Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan Friday as he bids to wrest the focus from the impeachment of Donald Trump to the agenda for his first days in office.
Biden has said he wants 100 million Americans to receive shots during his first 100 days in office, an ambitious goal that would require a big step up in the current pace of distribution. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Registered nurse Irene Musni administers the COVID-19 vaccine into the arm of a senior citizen at the Corona High School gymnasium in the Riverside County city of Corona, California on January 15, 2021, a day after California began offering the coronavirus vaccine to residents 65 and older. - US President-elect Joe Biden was set to announce his Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan Friday as he bids to wrest the focus from the impeachment of Donald Trump to the agenda for his first days in office. Biden has said he wants 100 million Americans to receive shots during his first 100 days in office, an ambitious goal that would require a big step up in the current pace of distribution. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:55
Race to vaccinate before more contagious Covid-19 strains spread
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Joe Biden signs an executive order as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on during an event on economic crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on his administration
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Joe Biden signs an executive order as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on during an event on economic crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spoke on his administration's response to the economic crisis that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and signed two executive orders. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
02:31
Biden zeroes in on the teetering economy in first week
libya russian backed mercenaries wagner investigation npw pkg intl ldn vpx_00001519.png
libya russian backed mercenaries wagner investigation npw pkg intl ldn vpx_00001519.png
Now playing
02:27
Images show huge trench being dug by Russian-backed mercenaries
Now playing
02:41
Former follower details the real danger of QAnon
A group of protesters shield themselves from chemical irritants as they demonstrate Wednesday evening, Jan. 20, 2021, outside the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Portland, Ore. (Assfault Pirates via AP)
A group of protesters shield themselves from chemical irritants as they demonstrate Wednesday evening, Jan. 20, 2021, outside the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Portland, Ore. (Assfault Pirates via AP)
PHOTO: Paul L/AP
Now playing
04:04
Portland protesters explain why they are taking to the streets
Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Braves
Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Braves' outfielder, is shown in a posed batting portrait at the Polo Grounds, Brooklyn, during the exhibition season, 1954. (AP Photo)
PHOTO: AP
Now playing
02:30
Hank Aaron, baseball legend and former home run king, dies at 86
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, June 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, June 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
PHOTO: Alex Brandon/AP
Now playing
05:08
Ex-Trump official who supports Biden stimulus plan speaks out
(CNN) —  

Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago cop whose fatal 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald reignited the fervent nationwide conversation about police shootings, was sentenced Friday to six years and nine months in prison.

The veteran police officer was convicted in October of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for the shooting in October 2014. The shooting and video of it prompted protests throughout Chicago and calls for Van Dyke to face serious prison time.

On Friday, he was sentenced on just the murder charge, Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan said. The aggravated battery charges carried potentially more prison time.

Special Prosecutor Joe McMahon, who had recommended that Van Dyke be sentenced to a minimum of 18 years for the aggravated battery charges, said justice was served.

“This is a significant sentence,” McMahon said. “I and this team are satisfied we achieved our goal of justice and holding Jason Van Dyke accountable for his actions.”

Jason Van Dyke is seen in the courtroom on Friday.
Jason Van Dyke is seen in the courtroom on Friday.
PHOTO: Pool/Chicago Tribune

One of Van Dyke’s defense lawyers, Daniel Herbert, told reporters the former officer was happy with the verdict.

“He truly felt great,” Herbert said after talking with his client for a few minutes. “(But) he’s certainly not happy about going to jail. He’s not happy about missing his family, but he’s happy about the prospect of life ahead of him.”

Herbert said a decision has not been made on whether to appeal.

Given a chance to speak before the judge’s ruling, Van Dyke reiterated that he had feared for his life.

“No one wants to take someone’s life, even in defense of their own,” he said.

He said he prayed daily for McDonald’s soul.

Van Dyke’s sentencing came a day after a Cook County judge found three other Chicago police officers not guilty of falsifying police reports to protect Van Dyke, in a case that had come to be seen as a referendum on Chicago police officers’ so-called “code of silence,” and their alleged willingness to protect each other from criminal investigations.

’Judge, jury and executioner’

The prosecution called several black men as witnesses who testified they had run-ins with Van Dyke and that he had allegedly mistreated them.

The first, Vidale Joy, said that Van Dyke pulled him over as he was leaving a gas station in August 2005. Van Dyke had his gun drawn and “put the gun to my temple,” Joy alleged. He also alleged that Van Dyke called him the n-word.

Edward Nance said in his tearful testimony that he sustained shoulder injuries from his interactions with Van Dyke and had to have surgery on both rotator cuffs. Nane also testified he now has anxiety, PTSD and ADD as a result of his run-in with Van Dyke in July 2007.

The prosecution did not bring an expert witness to testify that Nance’s injuries were caused by Van Dyke’s actions.

Edward Nance said he had lasting injuries after he was pulled over by Van Dyke in 2007.
Edward Nance said he had lasting injuries after he was pulled over by Van Dyke in 2007.
PHOTO: Pool/Chicago Tribune

Laquan McDonald’s great uncle the Rev. Marvin Hunter also took the stand, reading a letter that he wrote in McDonald’s voice.

In the letter, Hunter said that Van Dyke became “judge, jury and executioner” on the night McDonald was killed. He recounted how McDonald was about to move in with his mother and sister after his mother had battled drug addiction.

“However, Jason Van Dyke, with his cold, callous disregard for the life of a young black man, without me provoking him, robbed us of this. The story of my life is that in the short time of my life, I have worked hard to correct the mistakes I had made. But in a matter of six seconds, he then took 16 shots and ended the possibility of this happening forever.”

“What happened to me can never be changed,” Hunter said in his great nephew’s voice. “But other young black men and women would not have to face Mr. Jason Van Dyke and his evil and selfish ways.”

“Why should this person, who has ended my life forever because he chose to become judge, jury and executioner, and has never asked for forgiveness, be free, when I am dead forever?”

Van Dyke’s wife: ‘My life has been a nightmare’

Van Dyke’s attorneys submitted dozens of letters from police officers, longtime friends of Van Dyke and his family asking the judge for leniency.

His 17-year-old daughter Kaylee read from the letter she had submitted in court Friday, detailing the emotional impact of the prosecution of her father.

Tiffany Van Dyke said her husband has paid "the ultimate price."
Tiffany Van Dyke said her husband has paid "the ultimate price."
PHOTO: ANTONIO PEREZ/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

She was bullied at school, she said, and had lost friends over her father’s role in the shooting.

“Over the years I have learned how to handle my emotions and deal with him going to court, but now that he is gone I feel as (if) I am left with nothing,” Kaylee’s letter said.

“My heart sincerely goes to the McDonald family, but it’s time to bring my dad home. It’s time for him to hug and kiss his wife and protect his family. Bring my dad home. Please.”

Perhaps the most emotional testimony came from Van Dyke’s wife, Tiffany, who described the toll the case had taken on her family, emotionally and financially.

“My life has been a nightmare,” she said. “My life has been turned upside down, inside out. My husband is not with me.”

Tiffany Van Dyke said she pays between $400 and $500 every week so that she and her daughters can speak to Van Dyke for just a few minutes a day. She has lost work opportunities, she said, because of who her husband is.

On the night of the shooting, her husband was simply doing his job, Tiffany Van Dyke said. “There was no malice, no hatred on that night,” she said through tears.

Tiffany Van Dyke also said she prays every day for the McDonald family, and that she wants both sides and the city of Chicago to have peace.

She pleaded for leniency, pointing out that as a convicted felon, “his life is over.”

“He has paid the ultimate price.”

16 shots in 15 seconds

The shooting was captured on a grainy police dashcam video.

Several police officers were responding to a call about a man breaking into trucks in a parking lot on Chicago’s South Side.

In the video, McDonald is initially seen running, then walking in the middle of the street toward several police cars with flashing lights. McDonald later veers away from two police officers, who have their guns drawn, and within seconds he appears to spin around and fall. He was holding a knife as he walked away from multiple police officers who were following him.

There were 16 shots fired over 15 seconds, all by Van Dyke. Van Dyke argued he fired in self-defense after McDonald lunged at him with a knife.

But the dashcam video – which a judge ordered the city to release 13 months after the shooting – showed McDonald walking away from police, rather than charging at them.

Crowds of outraged protesters chanted and marched on the streets of Chicago after the 2014 killing, leading to reforms and a national conversation about police use of deadly force.

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke (left) was found guilty in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in October.
Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke (left) was found guilty in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in October.
PHOTO: Antonio Perez/Pool/Getty Images

Video of the shooting led to protests, a Justice Department civil rights investigation, criticism of the mayor and, eventually, the ouster of the police superintendent.

CNN’s Dakin Andone and Nicole Chavez reported and wrote this story in Atlanta, while Marlena Baldacci reported from Chicago. CNN’s Steve Almasy, Samira Said, Faith Karimi and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.