Jason Van Dyke release date: Chicago Police Department cop convicted in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald to get out of jail early
Van Dyke, now in his 40s, has been in custody since his October 2018 conviction of grievous bodily harm and second-degree murder for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. In 2014, Van Dyke shot the black teenager 16 times. Video of the shooting from a police dash camera, released more than a year later, was key evidence in the trial and ignited public backlash across the country. Van Dyke was convicted of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.
Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison, so he will serve around half of his sentence after being recognized for his good behavior.
The pastor of Grace Memorial Baptist Church, the Reverend Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s uncle, said he was informed on Friday of Van Dyke’s impending release.
“It’s too bad that Jason Van Dyke has a date when he can be paroled and released from his past to some extent and Laquan McDonald can never have another birthday,” Hunter said. “My prayer is that Mr. Van Dyke will come out a different man than he came in.”
William Calloway, the activist who helped release the dashcam video of the shooting, reacted to news of Van Dyke’s impending release.
“The federal government has the legal authority, U.S. Attorney John Lausch has the legal authority, and he has the moral obligation to file federal civil rights charges against Jason Van Dyke,” Calloway said.
Van Dyke has spent the past three-plus years in several out-of-state prisons and at one point was assaulted while in general population at a Connecticut facility. His attorney, Jennifer Blagg, who worked on his appeal, said she was unsure where he would be released from next month. He is currently in an out-of-state facility in protective custody.
“Well, I can tell that Jason doesn’t want to be in the media. He doesn’t want anyone covering for him, I don’t think. I can’t speak for Jason, but I know what kind of person he is. is, and I think he just wants to live his life,” Blagg said.
And thereafter, he will spend at least two years on parole and must see a parole officer regularly while remaining in the Chicago area.
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