CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on Chicago fatal police shootings and other developments with the department (all times local):
The lawyer for a Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of a black teenager says he has asked the court to allow the officer not to attend hearings.
Attorney Dan Herbert said after a hearing Wednesday that Officer Jason Van Dyke has received threats of violence and death when he comes to court.
Van Dyke is charged with murder in the October 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He shot the teen 16 times.
At the hearing, the judge set a May 5 deadline for prosecutors to respond to a request by civil rights attorneys and others to assign the case to a special prosecutor. Herbert says he would be fine with either a special prosecutor or Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office handling the case.
The head of an agency that investigates complaints against the Chicago Police Department is planning to outline changes she is making to how it operates.
Sharon Fairley is scheduled to discuss the changes to the Independent Police Review Authority later Wednesday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed the former federal prosecutor to head the agency late last year amid outrage over the release of video showing a police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.
The city fought to keep from having to release the video of the October 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald. The officer who shot him was charged with murder in November only hours before the court-ordered release of the video.
IPRA was created to investigate complaints against police, but it has rarely ruled against officers. Many critics say it often acted to protect officers rather than hold them accountable.
A judge has given prosecutors until May 5 to respond to a petition requesting that a special prosecutor take over in the case of a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of a black teenager.
Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan made the ruling Wednesday at a hearing for Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He shot McDonald 16 times.
Civil rights attorneys and others have requested that the case be given to outside prosecutor because of what they see as Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s close ties to the police union. They say they don’t trust her to aggressively investigate and prosecute Van Dyke.
Police fought the release of video of the shooting.
The Chicago Police officer charged with murder in the videotaped shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald is returning to court.
Jason Van Dyke is expected to attend Wednesday morning’s hearing in Chicago. Attorneys could discuss petitions asking that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office be forced to turn the case over to a special prosecutor.
Alvarez was criticized for waiting more than a year until November when the video was released to the public to charge Van Dyke. Critics contend she can’t effectively prosecute the officer because of her ties to Chicago’s police union.
That delay became the central issue in her bid for re-election and is widely considered the key reason why she was defeated this month by Kim Foxx in the Democratic primary.
(Photo Source: AP)