Cop Who Murdered Laquan McDonald Found Guilty of Murder—This Pig Must Be Locked Up for a Long Time

| Revolution Newspaper |


On Friday, October 5, the jury announced they found Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke guilty of murdering Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old Black youth. Van Dyke was convicted of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm—for each of the 16 bullets that he fired into Laquan. As the dashcam video showed, Laquan was walking away from Van Dyke and the other cops, arms at his sides, when the killer cop fired his first shot. After Laquan was spun around by the force of the gunfire and crumpled to the ground, Van Dyke continued firing shot after shot, stopping only when his gun ran out of bullets. This was the video that was covered up by the police, the whole city political machinery, and the mayor himself until it was forced into the public eye and sparked a huge outrage.

Van Dyke is due back in court on October 31 for his sentencing hearing in front of the judge. The minimum sentence he faces is six years. As Carl Dix said right after the verdict, “It should’ve been first degree murder. The evidence showed this.... Right now, it seems that these convictions are enough to send this murdering pig to jail. But we need to be vigilant that they don’t find some loophole to let him walk. We can’t go to sleep on this.”

This was one of the very rare instances of a cop getting convicted of murder—the first time in Chicago in almost 50 years. After decades of police all across the country getting away with killing hundreds upon hundreds of Black people and other oppressed people, here was a little bit of justice, won through the masses of people rising up in places like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago itself and shaking up society very broadly.

People all over Chicago were waiting tensely for the verdict on Friday. There were massive police mobilizations in different parts of the city, ready to react to protests. When the verdict was announced, cheers went up from the protesters gathered outside the courthouse. One activist, filled with emotion, said, “It just felt like all those years of work from the time the video came out was worth it. Like all the organizing and being out in the streets, it was worth it. It was worth it—for once.” There were shouts of “Van Dyke: guilty. CPD: guilty of conspiracy”—referring to the fact that it was not just Van Dyke but all the other cops on the scene and in fact the whole police department that was complicit in lying about the murder of Laquan.

The Chicago Tribune reported, “The largest demonstration Friday originated at City Hall and headed through the heart of the Loop [the downtown office and shopping area] on Madison Street. Protesters shouting, ‘All lives won’t matter till black lives matter!’ and ‘Back up, back up, we want freedom, freedom, all these racist-a-- cops we don’t need ’em!’ marched east in the street, blocking traffic at intersections as they headed toward Michigan Avenue.”

The marchers taunted the cops, shouting out “16 Shots and a Cover-up—Guilty!” and “Hands up—they still shoot!” The Revolution Club chant was taken up at different points: “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” When the police formed a blockade refusing to let the protesters pass, marchers shouted, “Move pigs, get out of the way, get out of the way, get out of the way!”

The New York Times quoted a Black woman from the South Side saying, “Just because we got this one victory doesn’t mean we’re free. We’ve got a long way to go.”

The Revolution Club was an important part of the protests during the trial demanding that Van Dyke be convicted and sent to jail. And as they celebrated the verdict with other protesters in the streets, they brought out how in order to bring an end to the horror of police murder and other crimes of this system, we need an actual revolution to overthrow this system.


Bob Avakian: Masses Don't Know The Effect They Have On Society



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