This afternoon Jason Van Dyke was found guilty in the murder of Laquan McDonald. Nearly three years after the city released dashcam footage of the horrific killing of a seventeen year old boy at the hands of an enraged and brutal cop, communities most impacted by police violence are now witnessing a rare glimpse at justice.
Dear Comrades and Allies,
This afternoon Jason Van Dyke was found guilty in the murder of Laquan McDonald. Nearly three years after the city released dashcam footage of the horrific killing of a seventeen year old boy at the hands of an enraged and brutal cop, communities most impacted by police violence are now witnessing a rare glimpse at justice. In the context of a racially prejudiced law enforcement system, which has for decades allowed officers to brutalize, reign terror and commit murder against black and brown bodies with impunity, this verdict represents an unprecedented step towards police accountability.
Today’s hard-earned victory was delivered not by the merits of local law enforcement and court systems, but rather in spite of their profound structural failures. This glimmer of justice was won by the courage and resolve of community members who gathered on Michigan Avenue, at city hall and at the court building demanding restitution for Laquan McDonald and for every life touched by police violence. Despite obstruction on the part of the Mayor, City Council and the State’s Attorney, the power of the people prevailed in forcing the state to hold itself accountable to communities of color.
Justice for Laquan begins today and culminates only when we dismantle the structural racism, brutality and corruption endemic to Chicago’s law enforcement system. Justice for Laquan means representative, democratically-elected community control over the police and an end to the officer code of silence. Justice for Laquan means a systematic divestment of mass policing and surveillance of Black residents and a reinvestment in schools, jobs, childcare and programs that restore equity. Justice for Laquan means universal safety and liberation for Black Chicagoans.
WCRJ is committed to continuing the fight to end racialized police violence. Please contact us for more information on how you can get involved in our work.
The Workers Center for Racial Justice