Illinois

Chicago officer accused in black teen's death requests guard

FILE - In this March 23, 2016 file photo, Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke, charged with murder in the 2014 videotaped shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald, walks in a courtroom during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. The attorney for Van Dyke has asked for sheriff's deputies to guard the officer as he enters and exits court. The judge could rule on those requests during a hearing Thursday, May 5, 2016. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

FILE - In this March 23, 2016 file photo, Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke, charged with murder in the 2014 videotaped shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald, walks in a courtroom during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. The attorney for Van Dyke has asked for sheriff's deputies to guard the officer as he enters and exits court. The judge could rule on those requests during a hearing Thursday, May 5, 2016. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

The attorney for a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of a black teenager has asked for sheriff's deputies to guard the officer as his client enters and exits court.

The Chicago Tribune reports (http://trib.in/1QSlWDM ) that Officer Jason Van Dyke's attorney, Daniel Herbert, made the request in a court filing made public Wednesday. Herbert previously asked a judge to allow Van Dyke to skip routine court appearances, citing safety concerns.

The judge could consider those issues, as well as a request for a special prosecutor to take the case, during a Thursday hearing.

Civil rights attorneys and activists have criticized Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for waiting over a year to charge Van Dyke and want her to be removed from the case. Alvarez has defended her handling of police cases.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com