CHICAGO -- Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke appeared in court this morning to plead "not guilty" to first degree murder charges.
Van Dyke is free on $1.5 million bond.
He's charged with six counts of murder and one count of official misconduct in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
The teen was shot 16 times during an arrest in October 2014.
The case has been assigned to veteran Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan.
He has presided over other high-profile cases including the R. Kelly child pornography trial and the Brown's Chicken restaurant murders trial.
Van Dyke's attorney, Dan Herbert, has not ruled out asking for a change of venue if he believes his client can't get a fair trial in Cook County.
Video of the McDonald shooting sparked citywide protests and forced the resignation of police superintendent Garry McCarthy.
Protesters are also demanding that Mayor Emanuel step down.
The Police Department suspended Van Dyke without pay after he was charged.