(CBS) — Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke should be jailed, or his bail increased, for violating a gag order in his upcoming murder trial, prosecutors argue.
There is a hearing on the issue scheduled for Saturday. Attorneys prosecuting the case say Van Dyke, who shot teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times nearly four years ago, broke the order when he gave an interview to the Chicago Tribune.
Van Dyke is currently free on a $1.5 million bond and prosecutors say they will ask a judge to revoke it.
In the interview, Van Dyke, says he prays for McDonald’s family. He did not discuss details of the shooting itself, but told the Tribune: “I offer up a rosary every day. I never would have fired my gun if I didn’t think my life was in jeopardy or another citizen’s life was.”
Judge Vincent Gaughan has previously issued an order that prohibited anybody associated with the case from discussing it outside of court.
CBS 2’s Political Analyst Irv Miller said he was stunned Van Dyke would do an interview now. His trial is expected to start on Wednesday.
“I cannot believe the lawyers allowed this to happen,” Miller stated. “He mentioned how he would not use his weapon unless he was acting in self-defense, that he talks about how he prays for the family of Laquan McDonald – that’s this case and he’s talking about it.”
Miller said he sees irony in Van Dyke and his attorneys agreeing to an interview as they argue the case should be moved from Chicago because of all the pre-trail publicity.
“How can they complain about it now when they are the ones, in fact, doing it?” Miller questioned.
A statement from Van Dyke attorney Dan Herbert:
“This is a very sad day in a case that has seen many firsts. The attempt to revoke or increase Jason Van Dyke’s bond for exercising his First Amendment right is an egregious abuse of power.
Mr. Van Dyke was very careful not to discuss evidence in the case or the shooting itself in his interviews. He expressed his personal feelings, the impact this had had on his family and his hope that protests will be peaceful and no will be hurt in the city.
Due to the constant threats and turmoil surrounding this case, Mr. Van Dyke fears for his life now and the safety of his family and others in Chicago. He feels this could be his only opportunity to express his feelings. During the past four years, there have been thousands of news stories portraying Mr. Van Dyke in an extremely, negative light in this case. Many have contained false information. Not one has included Mr. Van Dyke’s voice. He has a constitutional right to express his feelings as well.”