The Latest: Grand jury indicts officer in teen's death

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Posted: Dec 16, 2015 9:46 PM
The Latest: Grand jury indicts officer in teen's death

CHICAGO (AP) — The latest on developments surrounding a federal civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

A grand jury has indicted a white Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

According to a copy of the indictment posted Wednesday on the Chicago Tribune's website (http://trib.in/1T2Batl ), Officer Jason Van Dyke was indicted Tuesday on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct.

The indictment alleges Van Dyke shot the 17-year-old knowing it "created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm."

Van Dyke attorney Daniel Herbert did not return a phone call Wednesday night from The Associated Press.

Prosecutors initially charged Van Dyke with one count of murder hours before video of the October 2014 shooting was made public.

McDonald was walking down a street and carrying a knife with a 3-inch blade when he was shot 16 times.

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4:45 p.m.

Controversy over the Chicago Police Department and the shooting of Laquan McDonald has spilled over into what would normally be a moment to celebrate for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

High school students at Urban Prep's campus on the South Side chanted "16 shots!" for about 10 seconds on Wednesday after Emanuel announced the members of a new board intended to create job opportunities for young minorities.

McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2014.

Emanuel regularly visits the charter school, which says it sends all of its black male graduates to college. The school's leader, Tim King, was one of the people Emanuel named to the new board.

Emanuel spokeswoman Lauren Huffman told the Chicago Tribune that the mayor knows people are "understandably frustrated" and that he has "called for systemic reform to bring safety to every community and rebuild trust where it has been lost."

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4:05 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is responding to Chicago police union claims that officer morale is the lowest it's been in decades.

Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo has made the statement more than once, most recently Tuesday evening during a city council committee meeting on the 2014 officer-involved fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

The federal Department of Justice has launched a civil rights investigation of the police department and federal agents met Wednesday with police department leaders.

Angelo has said the mayor's City Council speech last week apologizing for the McDonald shooting further strained relationships with officers.

Emanuel told reporters Wednesday he's been meeting with officers in several districts over the last few days and sees officers' dedication. But he says it's not surprising officers are impacted by recent events.

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2:50 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he'll personally meet with U.S. Department of Justice agents who have launched a probe of the city's police department.

The former White House aide tells reporters that his meeting is scheduled for Thursday, a day after federal officials were meeting with police department representatives in the civil rights investigation.

Emanuel said Wednesday that the investigation is in its beginning stages. He says two members of his administration flew to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with federal officials.

The DOJ announced the investigation earlier this month after the release of video showing a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager in 2014.

Emanuel says the city will full cooperate and it's in Chicago's best interest to do so because of the city's deep-seated problems. Initially, the mayor was cool to the idea of the outside federal probe.

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1:30 p.m.

A federal civil rights investigation of the nation's largest police departments has begun in earnest, with Department of Justice agents expected to sit down with top Chicago police brass.

Interim Superintendent John Escalante confirmed during a city council hearing on Tuesday that the meetings would start Wednesday.

These initial meetings are most likely get-acquainted sessions. In coming months, investigators will talk to everyone from beat cops to residents who alleged police misconduct in their neighborhoods.

The DOJ announced the investigation Dec. 7 after the release of video showing a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager.

Chicago police union head Dean Angelo told WTTW-TV he's already met with top DOJ officials. He described it as an off-the-record talk during which he said the union wanted to "help facilitate ... the investigation."