NEW YORK — Former New York City police officer Jason Van Dyke told Fox News on Friday that he will be exonerated after a grand jury in Manhattan declined to indict him on charges that he shot an unarmed black teenager in the head at a high-speed chase and attempted to cover it up.
Van Dyke, 40, told Fox affiliate WCBS that he believes his lawyer has exhausted all legal avenues and that the case against him has been “cooked.”
“We have the right to an attorney, I believe that he’s going to do everything he can to do the right thing,” he said.
“I’m going to be exoneration.
I believe in the justice system.
The only thing that I have to say to that is I’m not going to sit here and let that happen.”
The indictment in the July 19, 2016, shooting of Akai Gurley, a black 16-year-old, came after prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-strike with intent to kill, but they have not been proven in court.
Van Dykes defense team has argued that the grand jury did not have the power to indict the officer because the prosecutor had not provided them with enough evidence to indict.
The indictment, which came in response to a criminal complaint filed by a group of young black men in New York, accused Van Dykel of shooting Gurley after he pulled Gurley over for speeding in Queens.
The grand jury’s decision Friday was a significant victory for Van Dyk, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case and has been widely criticized by critics as a police officer who did not do enough to stop Gurley’s shooting.
The charge against Van Dyde was based on the fact that Gurley had his hands up and was not reaching for a gun.
Van der Dyke was one of more than 200 officers and officers-involved-shooter charged in the shooting, and the police union has been pushing for the case to be thrown out.
In a statement, the New York Police Department said that the city would work with the Gurley family to seek a new indictment.
“The NYPD and New York State Police will continue to cooperate fully with the New Jersey Attorney General and other law enforcement authorities to pursue justice in this matter,” the statement said.
In a statement issued Thursday night, Van Dyck said he was “devastated and heartbroken” that the charges had not been dismissed.
“My family and I are deeply disappointed by the decision of the grand juries not to indict,” he wrote.
“I remain deeply remorseful for my actions, which led to the death of Akalie.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he wants to make it clear that New York will continue “to work aggressively to get the charges dismissed.”
De Blasio said in a statement Thursday that he was looking forward to working with the NYPD, which has been under federal investigation for decades for its use of stop-and-frisk tactics.
“We will continue working with local authorities to get those charges dismissed, and we will hold those officers accountable for their actions,” he added.
The New York Times reported that Gurleys mother, Michelle Gurley-Gilliam, has said she wants her son’s case to remain open.
The Associated Press and the New Yorker reported that the New Orleans Police Department is considering a civil rights lawsuit against Van Dyer for wrongful arrest and unlawful search and seizure.
The Times reported last week that Van Dyker was investigated for a sexual misconduct complaint filed in August 2016 by a former girlfriend.
A second accuser, who was later cleared, accused the officer of sexually assaulting her in 2015.