Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Tuesday was shipped to the Rock Island County Jail, about three hours west of Chicago.
Van Dyke was placed in protective custody at the Cook County jail after jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald. Judge Vincent Gaughan revoked Van Dyke’s bond, and he was taken to the Cook County Jail from the courtroom.
Van Dyke spent the long Columbus Day weekend in the Cook County Jail’s Cermak Health Services wing, and was kept in a single cell, with no interaction with other detainees, said Cara Smith, director of policy for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Van Dyke is not due to return to Cook County until the next hearing in his case, set for Oct. 31.
About 50 Cook County detainees are housed at jails in other counties because of security concerns, such as inmates who assault staff, high-ranking gang members or defendants who are cooperating with prosecutors against other inmates. Van Dyke’s status as a high-profile defendant, and a police officer, makes him “a very unusual detainee,” Smith said, but his treatment in Cook County custody was standard.
“The way he was treated was the same as any other high-profile detainee,” Smith said. “He had no special privileges.”
Van Dyke’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
Van Dyke arrived in Rock Island, a facility that houses around 280 inmates and sits just blocks from the Mississippi River, Rock Island County Sheriff Jerry Bustos said. Cook County’s jail, the largest single-site jail in the U.S., has around 6,000 inmates on any given day.
Van Dyke will remain in protective custody while at Rock Island, Bustos said, status that gives Van Dyke limited, if any, contact with other prisoners. Van Dyke’s conditions of confinement will be “the same as anyone else in his situation,” Bustos said.
Among other inmates who are being lodged out-of-county are Shomari Legghette, who is charged with the murder of CPD commander Paul Bauer and Corey Morgan, one of three defendants charged in the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. It costs the county $50 per day to house a prisoner in another county’s jail, Smith said.
Van Dyke previously spent five days in the jail following his 2015 arrest for McDonald’s murder, and remained in protective custody until he posted his $1.5 million bond. After his father put up the $150,000 bail amount, Van Dyke remained free for nearly three years while awaiting his trial.
Van Dyke spent several hours processing through the jail in August, after Judge Gaughan increased his bail by $2,000 for violating a gag order in the case by granting interviews to media outlets just before the start of jury selection.