Prosecutor defends handling of officer shooting

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cook County state’s attorney is defending the amount of time it took to charge a white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times in a killing caught on dashcam video.

Anita Alvarez’s office announced a first-degree murder charge on Tuesday, just a day before a deadline the city faces for releasing the video and more than a year after the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Alvarez said cases involving police officers present “highly complex” legal issues and she would rather take the time to get it right than “rush to judgment.”

She said the impending release of the video, ordered by a judge, prompted her to move up the announcement of the charge out of concern that the video would spark violence. But she insisted that she made a decision “weeks ago” to charge the officer and the video’s release did not influence that.