Activists prepare for Officer Jason Van Dyke trial next week

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The trial for suspended Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, accused of killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, begins next week and activists are making plans to watch what happens inside and outside the Chicago courtroom.

Jury selection starts Sept. 5 at the Cook County Leighton Criminal Courthouse, and the greenspace in the 2600-block of South California Avenue will be a base for those watching the trial.

On Tuesday, a coalition of organizations announced there is a permit to stage on the lawn near the courthouse.

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"We are a peaceful people, are peaceful protesters. This is a non-violent movement and it will always remain non-violent as long as this coalition is leading it," said William Calloway, of Justice 4 Laquan.

Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder and sixteen counts of aggravated battery.

McDonald was shot 16 times in 2014.

"We are in communication with other cities and other organizing communities who are at the front line in their communities as we are in ours, everyone is watching Chicago," said Maria Hernandez, of Justice 4 Laquan.

"Laquan McDonald shocked the nation and no one has forgotten about it. I don't think this is just a local issue police violence effects everyone if you are black or brown in America you have experience with the police," said Anais Donald, of Justice 4 Laquan.
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