Special prosecutor to investigate officers present during Laquan McDonald shooting

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CHICAGO -- A Cook County judge will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Chicago police officers, other than Jason Van Dyke, who were present during the Laquan McDonald shooting.

McDonald was shot 16 times in October 2014.

Several months ago, a group of attorneys filed a request for the investigation on behalf of a coalition of leaders and community groups.

On Friday, Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled in their favor.

"This could not be more important," said Locke Bowman, one of the attorneys for the coalition.

After the ruling Bowman said, "if the Chicago Police Department had had its way, if no video tape had surfaced of how that shooting had happened, the false accounts in the police department's official records would have become the quote unquote truth of how Laquan McDonald met his death. That injustice is so momentous and so horrifically  appalling that it, frankly, has disappointed us that it has taken this long."

The investigation will look into possible charges against officers whose reports contradict the dashcam video from the shooting.

Judge Gaughan said a special prosecutor will be appointed, but he is transferring the case to Judge LeRoy Martin Jr.  The case could go to a grand jury.

There will also be a special prosecutor appointed in Jason Van Dyke's case.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez asked to withdraw from the case in May.

Judge Gaughan says he plans to appoint a special prosecutor by August.

Gaughan says he has sent notices to the Illinois Attorney General's office, the State Appellate Prosecutor's office and other state's attorney's offices throughout the state to see who may be interested in handling the case.

Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.


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