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Van Dyke’s attorneys file second motion to dismiss murder charges

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke (right) and attorney Dan Herbert attend a previous status hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. | Antonio Perez /Chicago Tribune/Pool photo distributed by the Associated Press

Attorneys for Jason Van Dyke on Friday filed a second motion seeking to dismiss murder charges against the Chicago Police officer, alleging the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office misled a grand jury weighing in on the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Defense attorneys already filed a three-page motion last month seeking to dismiss the indictment, arguing that statements Van Dyke made to investigators were improperly used against him.

The new motion focuses on a “whole different set of irregularities that were done” before the grand jury, Daniel Herbert told Judge Vincent Gaughan.

In this Oct. 20, 2014 frame from dashcam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald (right) walks down the street moments before he was fatally shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke sixteen times in Chicago. The shooting helped prompt a Justice Department investigation. | Chicago Police Department via AP

Herbert went on to say the grand jury was “hastily” convened then fed false information by prosecutors and a witness.

The jury was incorrectly told by an FBI special agent that 17-year-old McDonald was first shot in the back and in the right upper leg and that Van Dyke and other officers tampered with video and audio evidence, according to the latest motion.

Prosecutors additionally failed to tell the grand jury there is a statute that allows officers to use force and when a grand juror asked about it, they denied that law exists, Herbert said

“The grand jurors were deceived on critical issues,” the defense attorney said.

Herbert also said that as soon as then-State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was told dashcam video of the incident would be released in late 2015, she made the decision “that she needed to get a first-degree [murder] indictment as quick as possible.”

Laquan McDonald | provided
Provided

“Essentially what happened was there was a rush to sacrifice Jason Van Dyke to the angry mob out there,” Herbert said.

He called the October 2014 shooting, in which McDonald was shot 16 times, “justified” and “legal.”

Gaughan did not rule on either motion to dismiss. But he said any arguments dealing with them would be done in open court.

Herbert on Friday also said he has asked the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to provide emails from the three or four assistant state’s attorneys involved in the case before 38-year-old Van Dyke was indicted.

Van Dyke is expected back in court on March 23.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke attends a status hearing in his murder case at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. | Antonio Perez /Chicago Tribune/Pool photo distributed by the Associated Press
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