Trial date set for Jason Van Dyke in Laquan McDonald police shooting

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The trial for former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke will start Sept. 5, 2018. (WLS)

A judge set a trial date for Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged in the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

His trial will begin on Sept. 5, 2018.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan's ruling Tuesday comes more than 2 years after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting.

The shooting made international headlines when a judge forced the city to release a dashcam video showing Van Dyke shooting the teen 16 times. The video sparked massive protests, cost the Chicago police superintendent his job, and promoted federal and local investigations.

Van Dyke's attorneys have asked that the trial be moved out of concern that he can't get a fair trial in Chicago. On Tuesday, Gaughan said a hearing on the change of venue motion will be held Aug. 3.

For now, the trial is set to be held at George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.

The judge said it would begin on time.

"We will get everything done. But, even if we have to go five days a week to get these preliminary matters out of the way so we'll be ready to go to trial on that day," the judge said.

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, 17.

Community leaders praised the judge's decision to order Van Dyke to stand trial.

"Finally, this is what we've been praying for, what we've been protesting for, been demanding for and we got a court date and this man will face justice for what he did to Laquan McDonald," said community activist William Calloway.

"I am very excited about the trial date. I'm encouraged that we have a definitive date, but I believe that we have to continue to apply pressure as a community show our outrage in what is taking place," LaShawn Littrice, of Black Lives Matter and Women of Faith.

At St. Sabina Church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood Tuesday night, activists discussed plans for the trial in the fall and different possible outcomes, including if Van Dyke is acquitted.

"We don't hate police, we hate injustice," activist William Calloway said.

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At St. Sabina Church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood Tuesday night, activists discussed plans for the trial in the fall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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police shootinglaquan mcdonaldjason van dykeChicago
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