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Grand jury will investigate possible police cover-up in Laquan McDonald’s death

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A grand jury will hear evidence of whether Chicago police officers lied to justify the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager by a white officer, local media reported on Monday.

Patricia Brown Holmes, a special prosecutor appointed by Cook County Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. in July, motioned for a grand jury on Monday after looking at preliminary information. She did this so that “people would know there was fairness” in the process, she told Reuters.

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Martin accepted the motion and said he would convene a special grand jury to hear evidence, according to the Chicago Tribune. Martin could not be reached for comment.

The October 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald, 17, who was shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke, brought intense national scrutiny of Chicago’s police force.

A police video of the shooting released more than a year later made headlines across the country and prompted calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign. The video footage shows Van Dyke continued to fire after McDonald had fallen to the ground.

Van Dyke is facing charges of first-degree murder and is on unpaid leave. He has pleaded not guilty.

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The police reports on the shooting conflicted with the video footage, sparking accusations that Van Dyke’s fellow officers were trying to cover up an unjustified shooting.

Holmes is probing whether officers who witnessed the shooting described it in a way that would cover up misconduct, when they were interviewed after the incident.

Police officers are justified in using lethal force if they were in reasonable fear that someone was threatening grievous bodily harm to themselves or another person.

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Last month the chief of Chicago’s police department recommended that five officers, including Van Dyke, be fired over their role in the shooting.

According to charges released last month, all are accused of making false or inaccurate statements about the circumstances surrounding McDonald’s death.


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Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install an new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Mike Pence should be investigated for his part in Ukraine negotiations and ‘we need some answers’: Ex-prosecutor

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance agreed with host Joy Reid that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in the Ukraine whistleblower cover-up — and that Congress needs to act to learn the truth for the American people.

"Let me go to you on this very quickly, Joyce, because here's the question for Mike Pence," said Reid. "Mike Pence has been sort of severed from all of the other questions that are relating to potential impeachment for Donald Trump, that the House is wrestling with right now, but if Pence ... went in knowing why the aid was being held up, went in and spoke to the leader of Ukraine knowing what stick the administration had over them, and in that way was drawn in to this idea of using that stick to try to get what they wanted from Ukraine, does he then face the jeopardy of perhaps also being drawn into the questions of impeachment?"

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