The Police Officer Who Killed 17-Year-Old Laquan McDonald Is Finally Headed To Court
Officer Jason Van Dyke's trial is set to begin September 5.
It's official, Officer Jason Van Dyke — the cop charged with the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald — is going to court.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the trial is set to begin September 5. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and also faces 16 counts of aggravated battery. Each count represents one of the shots that struck McDonald on that fatal day.
Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan's court date ruling came on Thursday.
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A judge-ordered dashcam video release showing Van Dyke fatally shooting the teen sparked outrage and protests throughout the city and the nation. Van Dyke's attorneys are hoping the trial will be held outside of Chicago in due to the pretrial press the shooting received. Further adding to the anger of many area residents are allegations city officials, including Chicago's current mayor, tried to cover up the shooting. Because of these things, Van Dyke's legal team argues their client won't be able to receive a fair trial in the city.
The legal team cited in their defense motion that the YouTube video of the tragic incident had been viewed more than 4 million times.
It hasn't been confirmed yet whether Van Dyke's trial will be a jury trial or determined by a judge, the latter of which is typical for Chicago police officers facing misconduct charges.
Should the defense's motion succeed, there could be two options: either move the proceedings to a different county or select jurors from elsewhere in Illinois and hold the trial at Leighton Criminal Court Building, per usual.
We'll keep you posted on trial updates as they arise.
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