Update at 12/1/2015, 2:38 pm:
Chi-town Mayor Rahm Emanuel finally broke down to protestors’ demands at demonstrations for Laquan McDonald and fired Garry McCarthy, the city’s Police Superintendent.
In a press conference earlier today, Emanuel said:
“A police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those that he serves.” Amid talks on the events following last weekend’s protests for McDonald and the direction of the Chicago Police Department, Emanuel claims that they established “the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded.”
McCarthy’s termination has been widely called for among Chicago’s citizens because of the way the Chicago PD seemingly tried to hide the McDonald case and because of the exorbitant gun violence the city has succumbed to. On one hand, it took 13 months for the footage of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death to be released to the public after the probing of a freelance journalist. On the other, Chicago has seen over 2,700 shootings in this year alone—430 of them have proved fatal.
Emanuel has been rather shady himself in his handling of the case. Not only has he abruptly fired McCarthy despite his previously consistent and outpouring support of the police chief’s work, but he flip flopped in his views on whether to release the footage of McDonald’s shooting. He ultimately came out in support of publicizing the video.
Emanuel went on to say that he has created a task force for building police accountability and changing policies on public access to footage of police shootings.
Yesterday, Jason Van Dyke, the officer who fatally shot McDonald posted bail at $1.5 million, as decided by Cook County Criminal Court Associate Judge Donald Panarese, Jr. Ten percent of the bond had to be posted for Van Dyke’s release. According to the local police union president, Van Dyke’s family and union members helped raise the funds for the cop to be set free.
Jason Van Dyke, the police officer charged with murdering Chicago teen Laquan McDonald, is due to appear in court today after a weekend of protests against McDonald’s untimely death. It will be decided if Van Dyke is to be released on bail or if he will remain in custody for the charge.
Van Dyke has been in custody without bail since Tuesday, the day that the dashcam footage showing the officer shoot McDonald 16 times back in October 2014 was released to the public. The video went viral within hours, inspiring protestors to take to the streets and to confront Mayor Rahm Emanuel for seemingly burying the case to protect the Chicago Police Department.
Some of the most outspoken protestors, including the Black Youth Project’s Malcolm London, called for Police Chief Garry McCarthy to resign for corruption in his department.
Judge Donald Panarese Jr. will decide on Van Dyke’s fate after watching the dash-cam footage for himself. Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, says the officer will be pleading not guilty. Herbert argues that the officer shot out of fear for his life and that the footage distorts the distance between the officer and McDonald at the time of the shooting.
Van Dyke was suspended without compensation when the murder charge was filed; he was demoted to administrative duty following the shooting.
Van Dyke has faced complaints over excessive force and racial slurs in the past, though he has dodged any punishment for them. A Chicago man was given $350,000 in a case settled by a jury in which he accused Van Dyke of brutalizing him during a traffic stop.
Van Dyke is a Chicago native with a wife and two children. Last week, GoFundMe took down a page in which his wife tried to raise money to cover costs for the case.
Van Dyke has been charged and brought to court a whopping 13 months after McDonald was killed.