In a shocking turn of events today, Chicago police officer Jason van Dyke was found guilty of the murder of seventeen year old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Initially, the claim was that he was carrying a knife and behaving erratically. But when the dashcam footage was released over a year later, that story fell apart like wet toilet paper. McDonald was walking away when he was shot by van Dyke, and he shot the teenager 16 times, with nine of the bullet striking him in the back.
Laquan’s murderer ended up with a second degree murder conviction rather than first, which is unfortunate because it means less jail time. However, he was also found guilty of sixteen counts of aggravated battery; a conviction for each shot that hit Laquan.
Does this mean that cops will start being held accountable for these racist extrajudicial killings of people of color? The magic eight ball says “probably not.” But at least in this one instance, the murder of a black person by a white cop actually resulted in not only a murder charge, but a conviction on that charge. Let’s hope future juries will be just as fair as this one and do the right thing when these monsters shoot black people like they’re firing at clay pigeons.