U.S. President Barack Obama has taken to Facebook to address the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video and the first-degree murder charges against Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, as reported by the Inquisitr. Chicago had braced for unrest that never came on Tuesday evening. Protesters numbering in the hundreds were reported to have marched through Chicago streets, in mostly peaceful demonstrations, over the release of the Chicago police video.
President Obama praised the “peaceful protests” of his “hometown.”
“Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor. And I’m personally grateful to the people of my hometown for keeping protests peaceful.”
Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for “justice and accountability” for Laquan McDonald.
United States Senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders tweeted about stopping the violence directed toward black citizens by police officers.
The first piece must be putting an end to the killing of African Americans by police officers.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 25, 2015
None of the Republican candidates appeared to make comments with regard to the murder charges against the 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police or the release of the video depicting the shooting of Laquan McDonald.
However, Republican front-runner Donald Trump did tweet a story stating that his assertions with regard to Muslims celebrating in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, as reported by the Inquisitr, was “right.” The article Trump links to doesn’t even specify that a group, reported to have held a “tailgate” party in the wake of 9/11, was Muslim.
Others on social media emphasized that 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times, writing,
Lord... The illustration of LaQuan McDonald wounds from being shot 16 times. pic.twitter.com/4ILXyDboPw— DJ Akademiks (@IamAkademiks) November 25, 2015
A second night of peaceful protests is said to be underway in Chicago, as reported by ABC. Organizers with One Chicago stated that they intended to block traffic in an area known as the Magnificent Mile near the Water Tower. The group was said to be expecting larger protests than last night because more people had begun to arrive from outside the city.
One Chicago has called for a boycott of Chicago businesses on Black Friday as a protest of Laquan McDonald’s death, and the fact that it took authorities more than a year to lay charges.
Charges were reportedly laid against a minority of the estimated 300 protesters last night. One, of aggravated battery to a peace officer against 22-year-old Malcolm London, was dropped. London was reported to have been greeted with cheers as he left the Cook County Courthouse this morning. A second man, 38-year-old Dean Vanripper, has reportedly been kept in custody following being found with a Taser and a knife at the Laquan McDonald protests.
Three others were charged with minor offenses and released on peace bonds: 24-year-old Troy Alim, 25-year-old Johnae Strong, and 26-year-old May Page.
Rolling Stone reports that the City of Chicago has agreed to pay Laquan McDonald’s family $5 million and that the incident marks the first time a Chicago police officer has been charged with murder while on duty in over 35 years. Despite this number, 17 people are said to die in Chicago police shooting each year. If convicted, Jason Van Dyke could spend 20 years in prison.
“No one understands the anger more than us. But if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. Don’t resort to violence in Laquan’s name. Let his legacy be better than that,” Laquan McDonald’s family said in a statement.
Members of the Black Caucus in Chicago, including 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins, are calling for a no confidence vote for Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police superintendent. The group feels that it should have taken less than “a full year” for Van Dyke to be brought to justice in the shooting of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was said to have 20 career misconduct complaints against him before his arrest for the murder of Laquan McDonald, as reported by the Guardian.
[Feature Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]