The American Civil Liberties Union is questioning a contempt charge leveled against a teacher by the Cook County judge presiding over the murder case against the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald.
The charge stems from a pretrial hearing last Thursday in which Judge Vincent Gaughan denied motions to dismiss charges against the officer, Jason Van Dyke. After that ruling, Gaughan called for a recess in the hearing. That’s when a spectator, Moises Bernal, started snapping his fingers.
Rebecca Glenberg, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Illinois, says it is “not clear that the [Van Dyke's] right to a fair trial was affected when there were no proceedings taking place and certainly when there was no jury in the courtroom.”