Attorney asks judge to dismiss charges against Chicago cop

AP News
Posted: Feb 03, 2017 3:24 PM
Attorney asks judge to dismiss charges against Chicago cop

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for a white Chicago police officer charged in the death of a black teen who was shot 16 times said Friday that grand jurors were wrongly told that officers tampered with audio and video recordings of the fatal encounter.

Jason Van Dyke's attorney urged a judge to throw out the first-degree murder charges in the 2014 death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

"There was a rush to sacrifice Jason Van Dyke to the angry mob out there," defense attorney Daniel Herbert told a Cook County judge.

It's the second motion Van Dyke's attorneys have filed seeking to have the case dismissed. The judge hasn't ruled on either motion.

In the previous motion, Herbert said statements Van Dyke and other officers gave investigators helped build the case against Van Dyke even after the officers were assured they wouldn't be used against them.

Herbert said the new motion focuses on a "whole different set of irregularities that were done" before grand jurors. He said grand jurors also were wrongly told that McDonald was shot in the back at first.

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"The grand jurors were deceived on critical issues," Herbert said.

McDonald's death prompted a Justice Department investigation that found Chicago police had violated people's constitutional rights. Van Dyke was the first Chicago officer in nearly 35 years to be charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality.

Van Dyke is scheduled to be back in court March 23.