Chicago cop who killed Laquan McDonald gets prison

By John Hawkins
February 4, 2019
Right, Rev. Marvin Hunter, uncle of Laquan McDonald killed by Chicago cops in 2014.
AP Photo/Teresa CrawfordRight, Rev. Marvin Hunter, uncle of Laquan McDonald killed by Chicago cops in 2014.

CHICAGO — Former Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to 81 months in state prison by Judge Vincent Gaughan Jan. 18 for the October 2014 killing of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald. He had been convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Van Dyke is the first Chicago cop to be convicted of murder in an on-duty shooting in nearly 50 years. 

“We’re involved in a march of a million miles,” Rev. Marvin Hunter, above, McDonald’s great-uncle, told the press. “This is a good first step.” 

The day before, Judge Domenica Stephenson acquitted Chicago Police Department detective David March and officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney of all counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct. 

“This is the reason we don’t trust the police or justice system,” Jennifer Moore, a worker at Walmart in the Chicago suburb Villa Park, told the Militant. 

Walsh and Gaffney were on the scene with Van Dyke when he killed McDonald. March oversaw the investigation into the shooting. The reports written by all three were almost identical and contradicted the cop video of the killing. The cops hid the video until public protests forced its release. 

“The entire ‘justice’ system, the cops, courts, and prisons, function to ‘protect and serve’ the interests of the wealthy rulers,” Socialist Workers Party candidate for Chicago Mayor Dan Fein said in a statement released to the media.