Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder of 17-Year-Old Laquan McDonald
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2018
WASHINGTON – Today, a jury found Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in the murder 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Police dashcam video released 13 months after the murder captured Van Dyke fatally shooting McDonald 16 times as he walked away, exposing a year-long cover-up by the Chicago Police Department and city officials. The footage sparked protests throughout the city. Advancement Project’s national office, a multi-racial civil rights organization released the following statement:
Today’s ruling was not a show of justice but a step towards holding the police accountable for the murder of another Black child who should still be alive today. Advancement Project’s national office knows that a more just society would uplift and adopt the work of organizations in Chicago such as Brighton Park Neighborhood Council and Assata’s Daughters which advocate for the shifting of resources from violent policing to community resources in an effort to provide alternatives to the police state. We also know that the case of Officer Van Dyke’s is not an anomaly; his actions and the actions of his peers are part of a larger system of policing that is inherently racist. Advancement Project’s national office stands by the Chicago organizers that have fought to hold the Chicago Police Department accountable for their actions.
It is time to create an image of public safety that actively protects Black and Brown people like Laquan. This is an opportunity to continue the dialogue and work towards community based approaches that re-envision safety without the presence of racist police. We will continue to support our organizing partners in Chicago – and across the country – to combat state violence that disproportionately harms Black communities on a national and global level.
Advancement Project’s national office is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.