Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke asks not to appear at hearings

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Jason Van Dyke

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CHICAGO —The lawyer for a Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of a teenager says he has asked the court to allow the officer not to attend hearings.

Attorney Dan Herbert said after a hearing Wednesday that Officer Jason Van Dyke has received threats of violence and death when he comes to court.

Van Dyke is charged with murder in the October 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He shot the teen 16 times.

At the hearing, the judge set a May 5 deadline for prosecutors to respond to a request by civil rights attorneys and others to assign the case to a special prosecutor. Herbert says he would be fine with either a special prosecutor or Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office handling the case.

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