CHICAGO (CBS)—Wearing his bulletproof vest, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke showed up to court with his father by his side Wednesday morning.
Jury selection is continuing this week for Van Dyke’s trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald. Four additional jurors had been chosen by Wednesday afternoon.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Hot And Humid All Weekend Long
Five jurors were sworn in Monday. Those jurors include a stay-at-home mom, a financial analyst, a record keeper, a woman and an older man, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.
There was no court Tuesday in observance of September 11. On Wednesday, an African American woman was chosen as the sixth juror and a white man was picked to fill the seventh spot. The eighth and ninth jurors are a white and hispanic female, respectively.
Concerns about the heavy media attention surrounding the case have prompted Van Dyke’s defense team to file multiple requests with Judge Vincent Gaughan to move the trial out of Cook County.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli was live at the Leighton Criminal Court House Wednesday, where he reported that defense attorneys for Van Dyke have accused Judge Gaughan of admitting jurors with prejudices against Van Dyke onto the jury panel.READ MORE: Some Fear Events Like Lollapalooza Could Spike COVID-19 Cases In Chciago
In a 10-page filing entered on behalf of Van Dyke, the defense asserts that the court allowed a juror to be sworn in even after that juror had initially admitted to forming an opinion about the case ahead of time.
The defense says that juror ultimately said any pre-trial prejudices could be overcome.
Van Dyke is accused of murdering Laquan McDonald nearly four years ago.
The killing was caught on a police dashboard camera and the footage was later broadcast around the world.
CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says filing a third change of venue motion is almost like an insurance policy for Van Dyke.
“They need this judge to say ‘I think we can have a fair trial in Cook County,’” Miller said. “At that point, I think they’re going to waive trial by jury to take a bench trial.”
If Van Dyke is convicted by the judge, Miller says the defense team is likely to issue on appeal to say Van Dyke should have been granted an out-of-Cook-County jury trial.
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