Laquan McDonald's Murderer Sentenced to 81 Months in Prison
Finally, justice for the family of Laquan McDonald.
Following his conviction in the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald late last year, former Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, has been sentenced to 81 months in prison with two years of mandatory supervised release.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Vincent Gaughan, who considered the second-degree murder charge the most serious of the charges, as opposed to the 16 charges of aggravated battery with a firearm — one for every bullet fired at McDonald — which carry a longer sentence. According to Chicago’s ABC7, Van Dyke is the first officer in the city’s history to be convicted murder for an on-duty altercation that took someone’s life. Pastor Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s great uncle, addressed the sentencing almost immediately following the court proceedings:
“I want to say to everyone – everyone in the city of Chicago and across this country – that if they had sentenced him to 1 minute, it is a victory. It is a victory because what has happened in this courtroom today has never happened in the history of this county and it sets a precedent and it sends a strong message to unjust police officers that now you can and will go to jail if you’re caught lying, if you’re caught breaking the law.”
In the wake of his conviction, Chicago legislators introduced legislation that would restrict funding to those agencies that failed to comply with and enforce police and dash cam policies. Police cam video, the deciding evidence in Van Dyke’s conviction, was released more than a year after McDonald’s murder.