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Van Dyke attorney subpoenas news outlets in support of change of venue

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke testifies at a pretrial hearing on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 | Chicago Tribune pool photo

Attorneys for Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Thursday subpoenaed three media outlets — including the Chicago Sun-Times — seeking all published reports about the case as part of an effort to move his trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald out of Cook County.

“We’re trying to get a more streamlined version of all news stories in a chronological format to support a motion for a change of venue,” Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, said Thursday following a hearing at the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse where the matter was briefly discussed.

“It’s going to show the massive amount of news coverage the case has received. And the likelihood is that people in this county have been exposed to it,” he said.

Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Chris Fusco declined to comment.

Any decision on whether the county’s jury pool could be too biased to offer Van Dyke a fair trial will fall in the hands of Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan.

But a ruling on the matter is still a ways off — Herbert has yet to formally file a motion seeking a change of venue.

News of the subpoenas comes two weeks after Herbert announced his intention to hire a polling company to conduct surveys to support the strategy.

He’s not the only one testing the waters.

Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon also plans to commission a poll.

A motion to change the venue outside the county isn’t surprising, given the protests that erupted in 2015 after then State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced murder charges against Van Dyke on the same day city attorneys released video of Van Dyke firing 16 shots at McDonald.

No trial date has been set. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 8.