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Laquan McDonald's Confidential Records Still Sought By Officer Who Shot HIm

By Erica Demarest | November 2, 2016 12:24pm
 Jason Van Dyke (right) is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald (left).
Jason Van Dyke (right) is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald (left).
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Provided/Chicago Police

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Despite two prior rulings against them, attorneys for Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke are continuing their pursuit to access Laquan McDonald's juvenile files.

The defense team in August and October appeared before Judge Patricia Martin, the presiding judge of the child protection division of the Juvenile Court, seeking access to McDonald's confidential records to help prepare for trial.

Martin denied the requests on both occasions.

During a status hearing Wednesday, defense attorney Daniel Herbert said he plans to go before Judge Martin a third time in coming weeks to once more petition the judge for access to McDonald's records.

Herbert in September also asked Judge Vincent Gaughan, the judge overseeing Van Dyke's trial on first-degree murder charges, for access to more than 8,200 pages of information from the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.

Gaughan at the time said he planned to review the records himself before deciding whether it would be appropriate to share them with Van Dyke's defense team.

Van Dyke, 38, is charged with first-degree murder and official misconduct in the slaying of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

According to prosecutors, McDonald had been stealing truck radios and was armed with a knife with a 3-inch blade when Chicago Police officers in Archer Heights called in a request for a Taser on Oct. 20, 2014.

Van Dyke and his partner responded to the call, but never specified whether they had a stun gun. Within seconds of arriving on the scene, Van Dyke pulled his gun and emptied his clip into McDonald, shooting the teen 16 times.

Video of the shooting, which was released via a court order in November 2015, sparked citywide protests that shut down the Mag Mile.

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