Judge losing patience with pace of Van Dyke murder case

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CHICAGO -- Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan dressed down lawyers for Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke during a hearing Thursday.

“I’m not negotiating with you! When did I tell you to get this done?!” Judge Gaughan said during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building.

Patience is wearing thin as the judge pushes the defense team to produce a witness by the end of the month. Van Dyke's lawyers are seeking a change of venue,  arguing it will be impossible for the officer to get a fair trial because of pre-trial publicity.

The judge granted a date later this month to hear the arguments, but news of the delay is not sitting well with many. William Calloway and fellow activists gathered demanded a trial date be set.

“We’re tired of waiting. Our community is on edge. It’s time to face justice!” Calloway said.

The pressure is clearly building as lawyers prepare for one of the most high-profile murder trials in recent memory. It's been two and a half years since charges were filed against Van Dyke in the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Police dashboard video shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times on a street as McDonald appeared to be veering away from officers.

Lawyers representing media outlets are arguing for more openness, including asking for sealed court documents among the avalanche of pre-trial filings in the case to be made public.

With Van Dykes' lawyers pressing for a change in venue, hopes for a May trial appear to be fading rapidly.


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