Judge to Appoint Special Prosecutor in Laquan McDonald Case - NBC Chicago

Judge to Appoint Special Prosecutor in Laquan McDonald Case

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    Judge to Appoint Special Prosecutor in Laquan McDonald Case
    Getty Images
    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with murder last month in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald arrives at the Cook County Criminal Court for a status hearing December 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Van Dyke was indicted on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct for fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald last year. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

    A judge says he will appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case of a white Chicago police officer who killed a black teenager by shooting him 16 times. 

    Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan said during a hearing Thursday morning that he would appoint a special prosecutor in Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke's first-degree murder trial in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. 

    Civil rights attorneys and activists have questioned outgoing State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's objectivity and petitioned for her to be removed from the case. Alvarez defended her handling of the case but asked the judge to appoint an outside prosecutor, citing her March election defeat.

    Van Dyke's attorney, Daniel Herbert, attended Thursday's hearing but Van Dyke did not. 

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