CHICAGO (CBS) — When the verdict’s were read on Thursday afternoon, there were well over two dozen officers stationed outside the courthouse in case there was any sort of protest.
There were not any, but community activists are calling for protests Friday at the sentencing of Jason Van Dyke. They said what happened in court on Thursday was a travesty.
Critics watching the case had been saying the judge should have recused herself because of her previous working relationships with several of the defendants.
Top of mind for the critics: The dashcam video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times.
But the judge said that wasn’t the totality of the evidence. That the officer’s information in their reports contradicting that was based on their different vantage points. McDonald’s uncle and activists find that hard to accept.
“This verdict says to police officers that you can lie, cheat, steal, rape, rob and pillage and it’s OK,” said Marvin Hunter, Laquan McDonald great uncle. I don’t think all the police officers are bad, but the small few that are part of this machine need to be weeded out and need to be taken out of the system.”
“The good thing about our country is that we have the freedom to peacefully assemble and protest our government. I would say it’s time for us to peacefully assemble to protest this tragedy,” said community activist Dr. Leon Finney.
At the Van Dyke sentencing Friday, prosecutors will be asking for a 96 year sentence. Activist plan to gather at the courthouse to let the court know that they are watching.