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Analyzing Politics and Aftermath of the Laquan McDonald Video

Two Chicago experts weigh in on the lead up to the video release, and what to expect from the officer’s trial.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy speak at a news conference, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Chicago, announcing first-degree murder charges against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the Oct. 20, 2014, death of Laquan McDonald.

FILE -- In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy speak at a news conference.

Over a 24-hour span this week, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and taken off the Chicago Police Department’s payroll, and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended Detective Dante Servin be fired.

This flurry of activity came more than a year after Van Dyke shot and killed Laquan McDonald, more than three years after Servin shot and killed Rekia Boyd, and right before the court-ordered release of dashcam footage showing McDonald’s death.

In the days since there have been nightly protests, and calls for firing McCarthy and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. And officer Van Dyke’s attorney has said this is a case that needs to be tried in a courtroom, not on the streets or in the media.

To help understand what that trial could look like, we spoke with longtime Chicago attorney James Montgomery, Sr., who explained the potential defense Van Dyke could use.

We also spoke with political consultant Delmarie Cobb about the lead up to the video’s release, and what was going on behind the scenes politically.

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