Trial of Jason Van Dyke Could Begin This Summer

The trial of Jason Van Dyke—the Chicago Police Officer charged with first-degree murder for shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times and killing him—could begin this summer. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan has been impatient with the pace of the case, which has yet to go to trial some two-and-a-half years since Van Dyke was charged. Logistics for the case, including finding a location and a sizable jury pool to pick from, given the high-profile nature of the case, have been difficult. On Wednesday, lawyers for Van Dyke filed a motion for a change of venue, and Gaughan has questioned county officials about a larger jury pool in the hope of finding potential jurors who have not heard about the shooting. There’s also been a long debate regarding the release of court documents in the case to journalists—lawyers on both sides have objected to the public release of 70 out of 105 documents filed so far. “We have to focus on the path to get this thing to trial, and we can’t be looking at side streets,” said Gaughan to lawyers for media outlets. “Right now we have a path, it may not be the perfect path, but this is the one right now.” (Sun-Times)


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