In October of 2018, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder for the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison, but after serving a little over three years, he will be released on Feb. 3.
According to The Chicago Tribune, activists are calling for a citywide shutdown of the Chicago Transit Authority until Van Dyke is federally charged by Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch.
Activist William Calloway said at a news conference, “You got a white man that murdered a boy, shooting him 16 times in cold blood on camera. And the federal government has not even touched him. That’s not justice. That’s racism. We got to call it what it is.”
However, Rev. Marvin Hunter, Laquan McDonald’s great-uncle, does not support the demands of activists and told The Chicago Tribune, “Getting Jason Van Dyke to go to jail, to federal prison, at best it will only cost the taxpayers more money.”
He continued, “If we really want to have change, if we really want to use this for a moment for change, then let us get criminal justice reform for real.”
Hunter also stated he was disappointed that Van Dyke was only sentenced for the second-degree murder conviction and not the 16 counts of aggravated battery.
Originally, Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder, but jurors were instructed that they could also consider a second-degree charge. Van Dyke was the first Chicago police officer to be charged with first-degree murder since 1980.
On October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, 17, was killed by Van Dyke. A video of the shooting showed the teen walking away from police vehicles before being shot 16 times in 14 seconds. Though no action was taken immediately after McDonald's death, once the video of the incident leaked in 2015, Jason Van Dyke was charged.