**Lawyers for Cop Accused of Murdering Laquan McDonald Seek New Trial Location, Activists Demand Trial Date
Lawyers for a Chicago officer accused of killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in a shooting caught on police dash cam footage have requested the trial be moved, arguing their client won’t be guaranteed a fair trial in Chicago.
Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke was back in court Thursday, March 8, where his legal team argued that extensive news coverage of the October 2014 incident in which Van Dyke shot and killed McDonald means he wouldn’t be given a fair trial in Cook County, where Chicago is the county seat, ABC News reported.
Judge Vincent Gaughan set a March 28 deadline for Van Dyke’s defense team to hire an expert who’s conducted polls, reviewed media coverage and collected other data on why the trial should be moved to a new location, according to local station WLS.
Local activists aren’t in favor of a change in venue, however, arguing that justice for McDonald has been delayed long enough already.
“… We are tired of waiting,” community activist William Calloway, who released dash cam footage of Van Dyke emptying his clip into the Chicago teen, told the station “It has been two and a half years since Jason Van Dyke murdered Laquan McDonald. Justice delayed is justice denied.”
“We say no to a change of venue,” he added. “We say no to any more waiting. We’re tired. We demand a trial date to be set right now.”
Van Dyke has been out on bond since he was charged with murder in McDonald’s death.
Gaughan has refused to bend to public pressure, however, saying the case will go to trial “when it’s fair.” He noted that the number of documents in the case were also cause for delay in setting a trial date.
“We have 300,000 emails,” the judge said. “People have to understand that and this is not going to be run by the public saying we have to do this, or representatives, or minor representatives of the public saying that it has to go to trial.”