No decision about jailing Jason Van Dyke over interviews

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CHICAGO — A Cook County judge made no decisions Saturday on whether to jail Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for this week's media interviews, which may have violated a long-standing gag order.

Prosecutors at a rare weekend hearing asked Judge Vincent Gaughan to either revoke or increase Van Dyke's bail, arguing that his interview with the Chicago Tribune violated Gaughan's earlier court order prohibiting anyone involved in Van Dyke's case from speaking to media outlets.

Van Dyke is currently free on bond pending trial. Jury selection is tentatively slated to begin Wednesday.

Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder, official misconduct and aggravated battery after he shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. The teen was stealing car radios with a small knife in Archer Heights when police on the scene requested a Taser. Van Dyke and his partner responded to the scene, where Van Dyke fired 16 shots within seconds of his arrival, killing McDonald.

During this week's interview, which was in print and recorded, Van Dyke talked about how he prays for McDonald's family daily and how he believes his case has been politicized.

Van Dyke's attorneys said their client was just expressing his personal opinion and tried to stay away from facts surrounding the case. They've repeatedly asked for a change of venue for Van Dyke's impending trial because they don't feel their client can get a fair trial in Cook County due to all the publicity the case has garnered.

Some legal analysts believe the interview may have been a last-ditch effort for the defense to sway potential jurors.


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