Court: Judge in Laquan McDonald case must stop sealing all filings

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Jason Van Dyke (left) is charged with murdering Laquan McDonald (right).

CHICAGO — The Illinois Supreme Court ordered a judge presiding over the case of a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald to stop requiring attorneys in the case to submit all their filings directly to him.

Wednesday’s ruling is a victory for news organizations that sued over what they called Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan’s “patently unconstitutional conduct.”

The ruling means court documents must be publicly filed with the court clerk’s office unless the attorneys can successfully argue that a motion be filed under seal.

Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of McDonald. The shooting gained national media attention when the city in 2015 was forced to release a dashcam video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times.

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