INDICT VAN DYKE! Sign Our Open Letter

Illinois Feb 17, 2022

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARP) is fighting to indict Van Dyke. CAARPR demands justice for Laquan McDonald. The National Alliances urges everyone to participate in signing their open letter here:

The following is a statement released by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

"Laquan McDonald was only 17 years old when his life was tragically cut short by white Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Records obtained by NBC News show Laquan worked after school as a Youth Advocate that year. Those who knew McDonald told the Chicago Tribune he had a sense of humor and a deep love for his family.

Jason Van Dyke had nearly 20 citizen complaints against him the night he murdered Laquan. Ten complaints were for excessive force and two with a firearm. One mean won a $350,000 settlement after a jury determined Van Dyke used excessive force during a traffic stop. None of these complaints resulted in any discipline.

Around 10:00 PM on October 20, police were called to the 4100 block of South Pulaski Avenue after a man was reported walking with a knife. Chicago Police requested back-up, and Van Dyke arrived on the scene. Eight police cars arrived in total. Dash camera footage shows McDonald walking away when Van Dyke begins firing his gun. He began shooting 30 seconds after he came upon the scene and six seconds after getting out of his vehicle. McDonald collapsed after the first shot. Van Dyke continued firing his weapon as McDonald lay on the floor. During a 15 second span, Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times.

The CPD cover-up began hours after the murder. In total, there are five known videos of the killing. Surveillance footage from a nearby Burger King should have captured the incident. The manager of the restaurant said five Chicago police officers gained access to the security footage and passwords for the cameras, and 86 minutes of coverage went missing by the time the Independent Police Review Authority requested the footage.

Inconsistencies between the police reports, autopsy, and dash-camera footage were found immediately in the days after the shooting. The City, however, refused to publicly release the footage over 15 times. Attorneys and activists across the city began pressuring the city to release the footage. It wasn't released until Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent a letter to CPD saying they could no longer refuse to release the video.

On November 24, 2015, the video was released to the public. States Attorney Anita Alvarez charged Van Dyke with First Degree Murder that same day. Van Dyke turned himself in hours later. On December 16, a grand jury indicted Van Dyke on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of misconduct.

The Van Dyke trial began in September 2018. Multiple members of the public were arrested during the trial due to an overbearing Judge Vincent Gaughn's extremely stringent rules. On October 5, Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. He received a sentence of. 81 months in prison for the second-degree murder charge. Attorney General Kwame Raoul intervened by filing a request with the Illinois Supreme Court to pursue a sentence for each of the 16 aggravated battery charges, but the request was denied without explanation. Two justices wrote dissenting pieces claiming the sentence was unlawful.

Van Dyke was released on February 3, 2022, after serving only 39 months.

The U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice have the power to charge Jason Van Dyke, to halt the barrage of injustices in this case. They can charge Van Dyke under Title 18 U.S.C 242, deprivation of rights under color of law.

We are gathering signatures for an open letter demanding the U.S. Attorney charge Van Dyke!

We are joined in this demand by Senator Duckworth, Senator Durbin, Representative Bobby Bush, State's Attorney Kwame Raoul, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, NAACP Chicago President Rose Joshua, The Rainbow Push Coalition, and over 55 local organizations."

Sign our open letter at: