Jason Van Dyke is the ex-Chicago police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, striking the teen’s body 16 times through a hail of gunfire. The incident took place on October 20, 2014. Officer Van Dyke reported that McDonald was walking down the street behaving erratically.
The police officer then claimed McDonald refused his orders to drop a four-inch knife he was carrying, then the teenager made a sudden lunge towards him, forcing the officer to open fire.
However, this video painted a very different picture.
The police dashcam footage shows McDonald walking away from police when his body is suddenly jerked and spun around by gunshots. The video also shows gunfire hitting the pavement as McDonald’s prone body laid riddled with bullets.
The Chicago police actively blocked the release of the video for one year before pressure from activist groups like Black Lives Matter forced the city to show the footage. Since the release of the dashcam video, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to receive pressure from numerous civil rights and activist groups to resign.
Officer Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and awaits trial.
On Wednesday, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police (a police union) confirmed that they hired Van Dyke as a “jack-of-all-trades” for $12 an hour, at least until the conclusion of his trial.
Father Pfleger, a well-known Catholic priest who often speaks out on issues involving gun violence in the Chicago community, wrote on Facebook.
The F.O.P. has just Hired VAN DYKE, yes the cop who murdered Laquan McDonald….The Police Union says to Chicago…we don’t give a damn what he did, what you think, he is one of ours, and we are going to take care of him…we get a new Supt. who is trying to restore police and community relations and the Union just SET THEM BACK ALL OVER AGAIN!….This is a disgrace!….Fire the whole union!!……EVERY UNION MEMBER SHOULD DEMAND HE BE FIRED!!!!!!
News of Van Dyke’s employment by the F.O.P resulted in demonstrations outside the union’s headquarters, with many protestors debating union members in the street.
— Leah Hope (@leahhopeABC7) March 31, 2016
The F.O.P. just declared war with the people of Chicago. The ultimate slap in the face is to hire a man who shot a child sixteen times
— Jedidiah Brown (@livelifefreed) March 31, 2016
When they go home and they take that uniform off, they’re regular citizens. They’re human beings. They’re just like me, they breathe like me, they talk like me, they bleed like me, but they don’t get the same judicial process as me, and that’s where it has to change,” said activist Jared Steverson, WLS reported.
While we’re working very hard as a city to repair the relationship between the police and the community, what do they think this was going to do?” asked Jedidiah Brown of the Young Leaders Alliance.
Due to the notoriety of the incident, the ongoing threats of harm and intimidation and other issues caused him to become completely unemployable. Furthermore, after several threats against the safety of his spouse and her clients, his wife was forced to shut down her family-run business; resulting in zero household income,” the union said.
For anyone to believe that the lodge entered into this arrangement without consideration and forethought is improper and shortsighted. Accuracy under these circumstances is paramount to truly grasping the significance to the decision made.