The Latest: Police commander trial ends, verdict on Monday

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Posted: Dec 10, 2015 8:01 PM
The Latest: Police commander trial ends, verdict on Monday

CHICAGO (AP) — The latest developments in Chicago's efforts to deal with fatal police shootings and police accountability (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The trial for Chicago police commander accused of shoving a gun into a suspect's throat has ended and Cook County Judge Diane Cannon will return a verdict on Monday.

Evans is charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct. He's accused of shoving the barrel of his gun down the throat of Rickey Williams and threatening to kill him in 2013.

Closing arguments in the three-day trial were Thursday.

The commander was charged after Williams' DNA was found on Evans' gun. But prosecutors acknowledge that Williams failed to identify the alleged assailant in a photo lineup.

The trial occurred amid intense scrutiny of police after the city released a video showing a white officer fatally shoot a black teen.

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6:20 p.m.

Cook County Sheriff's Tom Dart's office is shedding new light on the roles two county officers roles played on the scene the night when a white Chicago police officer fatally shot a black teenager 16 times.

The Chicago Tribune first reported Thursday that two Cook County officers were present the night of the shooting of Laquan McDonald, but neither filed police reports. The documents provided by Chicago police have been under heavy scrutiny because they contradict what video footage released late last month shows.

In a statement Thursday evening, the sheriff's office said two officers offered to help with traffic or securing the scene and were told their assistance wasn't needed.

According to Dart's office one officer still went to McDonald's side and "offered him words of comfort" until an ambulance arrived. The Cook County officers were contacted in July by the FBI and have cooperated with the agency.

Officials with Dart's office have said they weren't aware of county officers' involvement until contacted by the Tribune this week.

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5:20 p.m.

People are gathering across the street from a federal building in downtown Chicago to protest police brutality.

A Chicago group has asked federal officials to look specifically at dozens of wide-ranging civil rights complaints, including several fatal police shootings. The crowd gathered Thursday also is demanding the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Some protesters are carrying signs with photographs of people shot and killed by police officers.

Protests have occurred almost daily since the city released graphic police footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by an officer.

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5 p.m.

Two Cook County sheriff's officers were on the scene on an October 2014 evening when a white Chicago police officer killed a black teenager, but they did not file any reports about the shooting.

The Chicago Tribune reported (http://trib.in/1mdBbQs) Thursday that the first officer to arrive wasn't part of any investigation until the FBI tracked him down months later.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office confirmed Thursday the officer and a second officer who arrived soon after were notified by Chicago police that they weren't needed and left.

Dart aide Cara Smith tells the Tribune that neither filed police reports. Smith says the sheriff's office wasn't aware of the officers' involvement until contacted by the newspaper.

The newspaper reports the county officers' presence was discovered on video recently released by city officials.

Officers' police reports show a different account of what happened when compared to the graphic squad car video.

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4:15 p.m.

A number of families who say their loved ones were shot and killed by police are filing a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago to demand a complete investigation of their cases as well.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression filed the complaint on the families' behalf Thursday.

Group members say they filed a similar complaint last year to no avail. But they hope to get more traction with renewed attention on police shootings after the release of video from last year that shows a black teenager fatally shot by a white officer.

The alliance turned over a list of dozens of cases, including shootings of teenagers by officers and what the group describes as coerced confessions and torture. Some group members described instances that sounded much like the shooting of Laquan McDonald — young men shot when they did not appear to pose any danger to police.

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3 p.m.

The Chicago Police Board says it's launching a nationwide search to find a new police superintendent after the forced resignation of the chief.

Garry McCarthy was forced to resign last week in the wake of the release of a video showing the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer. Protests and calls for the resignation of top city officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have erupted since then.

John Escalante, a former chief of detectives, is interim police superintendent.

On Thursday, Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that the application for the position is comprehensive. As required by city law, the board will nominate three candidates for the mayor's consideration.

Prospective candidates will have until Jan. 15 to apply.

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8:55 a.m.

Police protests are resuming in Chicago, with several students staging a "die-in" on the sidewalk near Daley Plaza in downtown.

WLS-TV reports that the protesters lay on the ground Thursday morning for 16 minutes to represent the number of times a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager in October 2014.

The latest protest comes after a day of marches Wednesday in which hundreds took part.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave a speech Wednesday to aldermen apologizing in the wake of recent video footage showing fatal police shootings. The video of the teen being shot led to the forced resignation of the city's police chief and multiple investigations, including one from the U.S. Justice Department.

Some protesters have called for Emanuel's resignation.

Other protests are planned Thursday, including a 5 p.m. rally.