Judge to appoint special prosecutor in Laquan McDonald case

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge says he will appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case of a white Chicago police officer who killed a black teenager by shooting him 16 times.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan said during a hearing Thursday morning that he would appoint a special prosecutor in Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke’s first-degree murder trial in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Civil rights attorneys and activists have questioned outgoing State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s objectivity and petitioned for her to be removed from the case. Alvarez defended her handling of the case but asked the judge to appoint an outside prosecutor, citing her March election defeat.

Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, attended Thursday’s hearing but Van Dyke did not.

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