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Why we should be angry at Van Dyke shooting case

In a shocking plot twist within the ever growing narrative of police brutality cases in the US, we once again see injustice reign, as Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty to murder and misconduct charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

This specific court hearing played out Tuesday, as crowds of protesters greeted Van Dyke, calling him names as he entered the building. And for what it’s worth, the protesters were right to be angry. What Van Dyke did was ruthless.

“You just couldn’t wait to shoot a black man,” one protester shouted.

In this chapter of a never-ending list of police brutality cases, we find yet again that the US judicial system has let us down when it comes to a POC (person of color) being killed in or out of custody.

McDonald was shot in the middle of a Chicago street after police saw him carrying a knife. Van Dyke took it upon himself to shoot the teen 16 times, three of those shots being unloaded after McDonald was already on the ground. That is 16 bullets administered to subdue a teen with a knife. Keep in mind, Van Dyke was the only officer among roughly eight cops on the scene to fire his gun.

With advancing technology, we as people have more evidence than ever that injustice happens on a daily basis involving the police. The video, showing Van Dyke clearly murdering this teenager, is damning and was swept under the carpet by judges and lawyers for over a year. The shooting took place in October of 2014.

Although the release of this evidence resulted in the mayor of Chicago resigning, we should be outraged as US citizens that stuff like this even happens. If we can’t trust the police, who are supposed to protect us, then how can we ever feel safe? Van Dyke pleading not guilty is like the guilty child who clearly stole from the cookie jar, but blames his sibling.

McDonald deserves at least the poetic justice of this man being locked away for a life time, and until we demand transparency from every police department, events like this and the case of Sandra Bland and the case of Michael Brown will continue to occur behind closed doors and corrupt courthouses.

About The Author

Luke Janke

Luke Janke is a super senior studying journalism at FGCU. When he’s not listening to podcasts, he’s busy producing his own podcast, Full Pulp. Concerts and music are at the forefront of his horizon, and when there’s an ounce of free time you’ll find him in his home studio laying down tracks for his music project, Bull Moose Party. As a self-proclaimed nihilist, his affinity for death is emphasized by the authentic squirrel skull found on his desk in the newsroom.

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