By Leah Hope, abcchicago.com
The Chicago police officer accused in the murder of Laquan McDonald must continue showing up in court for hearings in the case.
On Thursday, Judge Vincent Gaughan denied Jason Van Dyke’s request to skip hearings out of a concern for his safety.
Early in the case, there was much public outcry.
Protesters were often in court and outside of court when Van Dyke would appear.
The crowds have waned, but the Cook County Sheriff’s Department continues to offer security to allow Van Dyke to pass through the public way safely.
Van Dyke’s attorney filed a motion that requested reducing the former Chicago police officer’s exposure to the public at Cook County courthouse by waiving court appearances.
“This case is special, the threats are real and the sheriff is liable for the safety of Mister Van Dyke,” Dan Herbert, Van Dyke’s attorney, said.
Three people with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department were called to testify on Thursday. One sheriff’s deputy testified that on Thursday someone made a comment to Van Dyke on the way to court.
Van Dyke is accused of murdering Laquan McDonald and shooting the teenager 16 times.
Van Dyke’s father who didn’t not comment outside of the courthouse also testified that he previously fell and had damage to his vehicle when protests were organized outside of the courthouse.