A hearing is set to take place in the case of a white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times.

Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Video released in November contradicted police accounts of the shooting and set off protests.

A spokeswoman says Van Dyke and his attorney do not plan to attend Thursday's hearing.

The question of whether to appoint a special prosecutor is among pretrial issues yet to be decided.

Civil rights attorneys and activists have questioned outgoing State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's objectivity and petitioned for her to be removed from the case.

Alvarez defended her handling of the case but asked the judge to appoint an outside prosecutor, citing her March election defeat.