Activist vows big protest at Van Dyke sentencing

CHICAGO (AP) – Activists are calling for demonstrators to show up in numbers for the sentencing of the Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Eric Russell of the group Tree of Life Justice said Thursday after a judge acquitted three other officers of trying to cover up the 2014 shooting that “we will be down here tomorrow by the hundreds and we will cry out for justice for Laquan.”

A jury in October convicted Jason Van Dyke, the officer who shot McDonald, of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. He is due to be sentenced Friday by a different judge.

Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson expressed skepticism during Thursday’s hearing that there was any attempt by officers Joseph Walsh, Thomas Gaffney and David March to cover up the shooting, much less proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

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