CHICAGO (CBS) — Ten jurors are now in place for Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial
CBS 2’s Jim Williams has the story from the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
On the second day of jury selection in Jason Van Dyke’s trial, the first African American juror was selected.
She was selected over the objection of Jason Van Dyke’s attorneys who did not like the way the woman described the video showing the killing of Laquan McDonald.
Race is at the heart of this case. Van Dyke, the white officer, killed a black teenager, Laquan McDonald. An example, black activists say, of racism in the Chicago Police Department.
The black juror, a woman, appears to be in her 50s, a FedEx driver who said of the dash-cam video showing the 2014 shooting:
“I thought it was horrific to see on TV. I couldn’t see if he was guilty, but I had an opinion about how many times the shots went off. That was a lot of shots.”
Van Dyke’s attorneys wanted the woman barred from the jury, pointing to her description of the video as “horrific.” Prosecutors accused the officer’s lawyers of trying to keep people off the jury because of their race.
In addition to a revolving panel of three journalists witnessing the judge and attorneys questioning potential jurors, three members of the public are allowed in as well.
CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller.
“Because the public does have a limited constitutional right to be present in the courtroom, based primarily on the First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of press.”
Van Dyke’s attorney took issue with the inclusion of activist William Calloway filing a motion that said Calloway is calling on people to riot if Van Dyke is acquitted.
“Every time something is done that deprives Van Dyke of a fair trial in the eyes of his lawyer, they’re going to file a motion,” said Miller.
Calloway denied a call for violence.
“I’ve never said that and nobody in our coalition has ever said anything pertaining to inciting a riot, promoting a riot. And we would never, ever say anything like that,” Calloway said.
Before the 12th juror is sworn in, Van Dyke’s attorneys will decide whether they want a jury trial or a bench trial. They will continue to argue that the trial should be moved out of Cook County altogether.