A special prosecutor will be put on the Laquan McDonald Case, according to Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan.
Judge Gaughan plans to start his search for a special prosecutor in the Illinois Attorney General's office, saying he will extend it to the state appellate prosecutor's unit and other Illinois state's attorneys, if necessary. If a prosecutor cannot be found in the public sector, the courts will tap a private attorney to try the case.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez asked to be recused from the case last month. Alvarez has been under fire for months over her handling of the case, and most would argue that she lost the primary race to Kim Foxx over the issue. People in Chicago and across the nation were outraged to find that it took more than a year for charges to be filed against Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot the 17-year-old teen 16 times in October 2014. Charges were not filed against Van Dyke until after the city was forced to release police dashcam video of the shooting by a court order, which promoted calls for a special prosecutor in the case. Alvarez denies that her close relationship with the police union would affect her ability to fairly try the case, instead saying she is recusing herself to "ensure continuity" in the case's management.
When it comes to a petition by civil rights lawyers calling for the special prosecutor to look into whether Van Dyke's fellow officers tried to engage in a cover up, Judge Gaughan said he needed more time to review the request, adding that there is no current consideration of charging other policemen. The case will be back in court on June 30.