The Chicago Police Department released a horrifying video of Officer Jason Van Dyke gunning down a 17-year-old African-American boy, firing 16 shoots from 10 feet away. Police union officials initially said Laquan McDonald lunged at them with a knife. The video shows McDonald holding a knife and spinning while walking down the middle of the street.
Senator Emil Jones III, Chairman of the Illinois Senate Black Caucus, released the following statement:
“Again and again, we hear the same narrative of officers who, ‘fear for their lives’ and it’s only another excuse to exterminate our young black men. The most disingenuous part of this reckless use of force is the great lengths that the Chicago Police Department went to cover up its officer’s cold-blooded murder. Four hundred days. It took 400 days and a lawsuit initiated by the media for the video of Laquan McDonald’s execution to be released. For the last 400 days, Chicagoans have been paying for a murderer to be on the city’s payroll. If there was a video of Ray-Ray from the west side killing someone, law enforcement would throw him under the jail. We must hold police officers to a higher moral standard and, after seeing this video, the appropriate action has been taken. Although this action is over a year past due. Someone needs to provide some pretty detailed answers because the chasm of injustice is beyond evident.
Most law enforcement officers aren’t bad apples, but we need to weed out this corruption because it’s making Illinois look less favorable to residents and businesses.
Earlier the year, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus stood with law enforcement leaders while passing comprehensive law enforcement reform to ensure officer safety and community accountability. This new law creates guidelines for police training and body cameras.
I pray for the family in their continuous mourning and hope we can come together as a community to combat social, structural and economic struggle people of color face daily.”