Murder trial of Chicago cop puts troubled force in spotlight

 
 
Updated 9/15/2018 8:17 AM
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  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 file photo, Lamon Reccord, right, stares and yells, "Shoot me 16 times," at a Chicago police officer as he and others march through Chicago's Loop, one day after murder charges were brought against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 file photo, Lamon Reccord, right, stares and yells, "Shoot me 16 times," at a Chicago police officer as he and others march through Chicago's Loop, one day after murder charges were brought against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 file photo, police officers line up outside the District 1 central headquarters at 17th and State streets in Chicago, during a protest for 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot in October 2014. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the killing.

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 file photo, police officers line up outside the District 1 central headquarters at 17th and State streets in Chicago, during a protest for 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot in October 2014. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the killing. Associated Press

  • This combination of photos shows Laquan McDonald and former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. On Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, Van Dyke will go on trial, facing murder charges in the shooting of the 17-year-old. The incident was captured in a dashcam video that led to protests and fueled racial tensions in the city. (Family Photo, Cook County Sheriff's Office via AP)

    This combination of photos shows Laquan McDonald and former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. On Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, Van Dyke will go on trial, facing murder charges in the shooting of the 17-year-old. The incident was captured in a dashcam video that led to protests and fueled racial tensions in the city. (Family Photo, Cook County Sheriff's Office via AP) Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2014 image made from dashcam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, 17, right, walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago. (Chicago Police Department via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2014 image made from dashcam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, 17, right, walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago. (Chicago Police Department via AP, File) Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Aug. 26, 1968 file photo, Chicago police officers wielding nightsticks confront a demonstrator on the ground in Grant Park after protesters against the Vietnam War climbed on the statue of Civil War Gen. John Logan. It was one of many protests during the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention.

    FILE - In this Aug. 26, 1968 file photo, Chicago police officers wielding nightsticks confront a demonstrator on the ground in Grant Park after protesters against the Vietnam War climbed on the statue of Civil War Gen. John Logan. It was one of many protests during the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this July 11, 1972 file photo, State's Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan walks past graffiti on wall of a West Side apartment in Chicago, in which two Black Panther leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, were killed in a police raid on Dec. 4, 1969. Reports indicate the police fired up to 99 shots; the Panthers shot once.

    FILE - In this July 11, 1972 file photo, State's Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan walks past graffiti on wall of a West Side apartment in Chicago, in which two Black Panther leaders, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, were killed in a police raid on Dec. 4, 1969. Reports indicate the police fired up to 99 shots; the Panthers shot once. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June, 16, 2006 file photo, Kristin Roberts, left, holds a sign of former Police Commander Jon Burge as she and others stage a protest outside the Cook County courthouse in Chicago, demanding the release of a report on allegations that some Chicago police officers tortured suspects. Burge led a crew of detectives accused of torturing more than 100 suspects, mostly black men, from 1972 to 1991, shocking them with cattle prods, smothering them with typewriter covers and shoving guns in their mouths to secure confessions.

    FILE - In this June, 16, 2006 file photo, Kristin Roberts, left, holds a sign of former Police Commander Jon Burge as she and others stage a protest outside the Cook County courthouse in Chicago, demanding the release of a report on allegations that some Chicago police officers tortured suspects. Burge led a crew of detectives accused of torturing more than 100 suspects, mostly black men, from 1972 to 1991, shocking them with cattle prods, smothering them with typewriter covers and shoving guns in their mouths to secure confessions. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2008 file photo, former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge shields his eyes from the sun as he leaves the federal courthouse after he was released from custody in Tampa, Fla. Burge led a crew of detectives accused of torturing more than 100 suspects, mostly black men, from 1972 to 1991, shocking them with cattle prods, smothering them with typewriter covers and shoving guns in their mouths to secure confessions. Burge was fired in 1993 and sentenced to prison in 2011 for lying in a civil case. It was too late to charge him criminally.

    FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2008 file photo, former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge shields his eyes from the sun as he leaves the federal courthouse after he was released from custody in Tampa, Fla. Burge led a crew of detectives accused of torturing more than 100 suspects, mostly black men, from 1972 to 1991, shocking them with cattle prods, smothering them with typewriter covers and shoving guns in their mouths to secure confessions. Burge was fired in 1993 and sentenced to prison in 2011 for lying in a civil case. It was too late to charge him criminally. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 file photo, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks during a news conference accompanied by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, left, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. The U.S. Justice Department issued a scathing report on civil rights abuses by the Chicago Police Department. The report described a department that tolerated racial discrimination and used excessive force.

    FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 file photo, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks during a news conference accompanied by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, left, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. The U.S. Justice Department issued a scathing report on civil rights abuses by the Chicago Police Department. The report described a department that tolerated racial discrimination and used excessive force. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 file photo, Leonard Gipson, center right, one of 15 convicted men, accompanied by Joshua Tepfer, center left, of the University of Chicago's Exoneration Project, talks to reporters in Chicago, after a judge threw out the convictions of the men who claimed former Police Sgt. Ronald Watts had manufactured evidence that sent them to prison.

    FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 file photo, Leonard Gipson, center right, one of 15 convicted men, accompanied by Joshua Tepfer, center left, of the University of Chicago's Exoneration Project, talks to reporters in Chicago, after a judge threw out the convictions of the men who claimed former Police Sgt. Ronald Watts had manufactured evidence that sent them to prison. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this July 7, 2018 file photo, The Rev. Michael Pfleger, left, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, second from left, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, participate in an anti-violence march on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. Johnson acknowledges mistakes have been made, especially in black and Latino neighborhoods, many of them beset by gangs and gun violence that have tormented parts of Chicago in recent years. "There's been a history in Chicago of the police department treating those particular communities inappropriately. I know that we did,” Johnson said in an interview.

    FILE - In this July 7, 2018 file photo, The Rev. Michael Pfleger, left, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, second from left, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, participate in an anti-violence march on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. Johnson acknowledges mistakes have been made, especially in black and Latino neighborhoods, many of them beset by gangs and gun violence that have tormented parts of Chicago in recent years. "There's been a history in Chicago of the police department treating those particular communities inappropriately. I know that we did,” Johnson said in an interview. Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The trial of a Chicago police officer facing murder charges in the shooting of a black teen shines a spotlight on a troubled force that has been accused of racial bias, excessive force and a code of silence.

Many big cities share these problems, but one expert says that Chicago is that on steroids.

The city's police superintendent acknowledges black and Latino residents haven't been treated properly, but says the department has made changes and more are planned.

While the murder trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke in the October 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald will revolve around the events of that night, it also will draw fresh attention to the problems the city's police department has wrestled with for decades.

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