Chicago Police

Judge Rules Reporter Won't Have to Reveal Source in Van Dyke Case

A judge ruled Wednesday that a reporter whose work shed light on the false police story about the death of Laquan McDonald will not be compelled to reveal his source.

Journalist Jamie Kalven learned of the Judge Vincent Gaughan’s decision during a hearing Wednesday, with the judge calling the push to learn the identity of Kalvin’s source a “fishing expedition.”

According to the ruling, attorneys for former Chicago police officer Jason van Dyke failed to prove that Kalven possessed privileged information, and that they were not entitled to know the identity of his sources.

Last week, defense attorneys for Van Dyke argued that the information was protected, and that they wanted to know the source of Kalven’s reporting.

“We know that somebody from IPRA (Independent Police Review Authority) leaked this information to Mr. Kalven,” attorney Dan Herbert argued.

In today’s ruling, the judge wrote that the subpoena submitted by the defense “is not sufficiently specific and seeks irrelevant and privileged material.”

“Whistleblower sources who come forward when police act improperly are crucial to democracy, and we’re very happy that the judge affirmed those principles today.”

First amendment advocates called the ruling a victory for the protection of confidential sources, and Kalven himself said he was relieved that the subpoena was quashed, and that with the media increasingly under fire, it was more important than ever to protect their sources.

“The real hero in this is case is a source within law enforcement who provided information,” he said. 

Contact Us