Judge reprimands courtroom protesters at Van Dyke hearing

Officer Jason Van Dyke’s defense filed a motion this morning asking that the cop accused of killing Laquan McDonald be excused from future hearings.

The request came during the first status hearing since Van Dyke was confronted by people holding signs on his way into court and in the courtroom last month.

The judge denied the motion, saying it should have been made when the incidents occurred. But he admonished those in the courtroom this morning that such displays won’t be tolerated inside or outside his courtroom.

Van Dyke’s lawyer also asked that 16 counts of aggravated battery added last month be dismissed because of improper presentation of evidence to the grand jury by prosecutors.

The state also filed a couple motions relating to how a hearing by the police board might affect Van Dyke’s trial.

The officer is charged with murder for firing 16 shots at McDonald, who was armed with a knife but appeared to be walking away from police when Van Dyke fired.

The shooting was recorded by a dashcam, but city officials did not release the video for 14 months.

William Calloway, the activist who got the police video of the shooting released to the public, says the judge has put a “gag order” on all principals in the case; and he’s allowed secret attorney conversations with no court reporter to take transcripts.

He is demanding more transparency.

Calloway is also demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel resign, for refusing to release the McDonald video until after his re-election two years ago.