Police shooting spurs state agency changes

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CHICAGO (AP) _ The head of Illinois’ child welfare agency says the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer has spurred more focus in how the agency handles cases of troubled youths.

Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon tells The Associated Press that since police footage was released in November, agency workers have gone through thousands of pages of documents relating to Laquan McDonald, who was a state ward for most of his 17 years.

Sheldon says the agency has changed how workers review cases like McDonald’s. Sheldon acknowledged DCFS should have done better in caring for him.

Local journalists have chronicled the teen’s troubled life, including claims that agencies fell short with intervention.

McDonald was shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke, who’s been charged with murder but pleaded not guilty.