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