Jason Van Dyke wants protection at court

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The attorney for a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of a black teenager has asked for sheriff's deputies to guard the officer as he enters and exits court.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Officer Jason Van Dyke's attorney, Daniel Herbert, made the request in a court filing made public Wednesday. Herbert previously asked a judge to allow Van Dyke to skip routine court appearances, citing safety concerns.

The judge could rule on those requests during a Thursday hearing. The judge also could announce whether he will allow a special prosecutor.

Civil rights attorneys and activists have requested that Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez not handle the case. They criticized her for waiting more than a year to charge Van Dyke. Alvarez has defended her handling of police cases.