Jason Van Dyke attorneys want Chicago journalist's Laquan McDonald sources revealed

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The journalist who first questioned the Chicago Police Department's accounts of the Laquan McDonald police shooting appeared in court Wednesday. (WLS)

The journalist who first questioned the Chicago Police Department's accounts of the Laquan McDonald police shooting appeared in court Wednesday.

Lawyers for the officer charged in the 17-year-old boy's 2014 murder want Jamie Kalven to reveal his sources.
In a Slate article published about four months after the shooting, Kalven countered the CPD's narrative about how the McDonald died, citing autopsy results.

His reporting led many to question what happened. Another journalist subsequently filed a Freedom of Information Act request for dashcam video of the shooting, which was released under court order in November 2015.

That footage shows the black teen was shot 16 times by CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Police accounts said McDonald, a burglary suspect, was lunging at officers. But according to prosecutors citing the dashcam video, Van Dyke got out of his squad car with his gun drawn and fired 16 rounds at McDonald without being provoked.

Van Dyke was later charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct.

Kalven took the stand Wednesday morning, but only to establish on the record that he is a journalist and was a reporter at the time of McDonald's killing.

Van Dyke's attorneys wanted Kalven to divulge his sources on the stand, alleging the reporter obtained leaked documents and used those documents to "shape" his interviews with witnesses.

Kalven's attorneys argued Wednesday that the witness in question gave a statement to law enforcement before he was ever interviewed by the journalist.

Van Dyke's lawyers also allege that he had sources inside the now defunct Independent Police Review Authority and that he has assistance from the FBI. Kalven's lawyers argued that there is no concrete evidence of that.

A representative from the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press argued that this case is a perfect example of the need for reporter privilege - for journalists not to be compelled to reveal the sources that helped break a story.

It will be up to the judge whether or not Kalven will be forced to answer questions on the stand. He has said he will not give up his sources.

Related Topics:
chicago police departmentlaquan mcdonaldinvestigationpolice shootingcourtjason van dykeChicagoLoopBronzeville
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