Chicago Police Officer Asks For Venue Change In Laquan McDonald Shooting Trial

Laquan McDonald Shooting Trial
Jason Van Dyke appears at a hearing in front of Judge Vincent Michael Gaughan on the killing of Laquan McDonald at the George N. Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago on January 29, 2016. Van Dyke faces charges of six counts of first degree murder and one count of official misconduct in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, whose video-taped shooting sparked protests against police misconduct when released in November of last year. Photo by Nancy Stone/UPI/Pool | License Photo

CHICAGO, Jan. 31 (UPI) — Attorneys for the Chicago Police officer accused in the shooting death of a 17-year-old are asking for the trial to be moved to a different location.

Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke‘s attorney, Daniel Herbert, said his client is receiving death threats, as well as threats to his family, after his charge was announced in the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. Herbert said it may be impossible to successfully assemble an unbiased jury after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel publicly condemned the officer.

“We think that at the end of the day we’re going to present some very compelling evidence to demonstrate that it’s impossible for my client to get a fair trial in this case,” Herbert said, according to USA Today.

The victim’s great-uncle, Rev. Marvin Hunter, and other activists reportedly worry Van Dyke would manage to “easily be cleared” of the charges if the trial took place in Cook County, Fox 32 reported.

“We feel like the entire Cook County criminal justice system needs to be overhauled and investigated,” Hunter said.

Earlier this month, the Chicago Police Department released dashcam footage of the Oct. 2014 shooting involving McDonald, prompting widespread protests. The teen was shot 16 times. Van Dyke pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.


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