The Chicago police officer who fatally wounded 17-year-old Laquan McDonald wants to skip court appearances. Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 2014 shooting death of the teen. Lawyers representing him cited concerns for his safety when requesting that he skip courtroom appearances.

Van Dyke’s “previous court appearances have resulted in violence, intimidation and threats to such an extent that defendant’s personal safety is jeopardized by entering and exiting the courthouse for scheduled status hearings,” the defense motion said.

The defense also criticized the conduct of some TV cameramen in addition to protesters outside the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

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