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WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid a growing political controversy, the Obama administration on Wednesday reminded state officials across the country that states do not have legal authority to refuse to accept Syrian refugees.
By Joseph Ax and Tom Polansek NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The murder case against a white Chicago police officer for killing a black teenager may turn on whether the officer can show that he feared for his life and that firing 16 times was reasonable under the circumstances, criminal defense experts said. Officer Jason Van Dyke is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald just six seconds after emerging from his patrol car on a street on the southwest side of Chicago on Oct. 20, 2014, emptying his gun’s clip. Given the nature of the video, Van Dyke may opt for a non-jury trial before a judge who might be less susceptible to an emotional reaction. While prosecutors in Cook County chose to charge Van Dyke with first-degree murder, Illinois law allows such defendants to be convicted of the lesser charge of second-degree murder. Under state law, a defendant has committed first-degree murder if he or she acted with intent to kill or do great bodily harm and had no lawful justification.