Ex-Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Freed Early over Murdering Laquan McDonald; Activists Seek Fed Charges

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We go to Chicago, where protests erupted Thursday over the early release of the white ex-police officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of killing a Black 17-year-old named Laquan McDonald in 2014. Van Dyke — who was the first police officer in the United States to be charged with murder for an on-duty shooting — was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison but was freed early for “good behavior” after only serving a little over three years of his sentence. He was only convicted of murder a year after the shooting, when community activists pushed the Chicago police to release video footage of the incident showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald in the back 16 times as the teen was walking away from the scene. We speak with community organizer Will Calloway, who pushed for the video’s release, and activist Justin Blake, uncle of police shooting victim Jacob Blake, who supports calls for Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring federal civil rights charges against Van Dyke. The two were both arrested and federally charged after joining the protests on Thursday.

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