Chicago: Officer Van Dyke Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering Laquan McDonald

HeadlineDec 30, 2015

In Chicago, white police officer Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder for the 2014 shooting of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald. Officer Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times while the teenager was at a distance and walking away, posing no threat. On Tuesday, Laquan McDonald’s great-uncle Marvin Hunter called for a fully televised trial.

Marvin Hunter: “We’re not asking for a change of venue, as has been mentioned in the media before, as much as we’re asking for federal oversight. We now believe that it would be in the best interests of fairness and justice for this case if it was televised, from gavel to gavel, because we really believe that there is a culture in the County of Cook, with the police department and the criminal justice system, where police feel comfortable with murdering African-American people.”

This comes as family members held a vigil to honor Quintonio LeGrier. Chicago police killed the 19-year-old college student Saturday after his father called 911 to help respond to a mental health episode in which his son was behaving oddly and carrying a baseball bat. Friends and family remembered Quintonio LeGrier as a straight-A student who ran the Chicago Marathon in 2013. The other victim of Saturday’s shooting was Bettie Jones, the mother of five grown children, who lived downstairs. Police have acknowledged they shot Bettie Jones by accident. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has cut short his vacation and returned to Chicago amid increasing calls to resign.

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