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Chicago Urban League Releases Statement on Laquan McDonald Verdict

October 5, 2018

The Chicago Urban League’s Interim President and CEO Barbara Lumpkin released the following statement in response to the verdict in the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer convicted of murder in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald:

“Laquan McDonald’s family and much of the city of Chicago have waited for nearly three years hoping to see justice served. While many of us who watched that disturbing and unforgettable video believed that a first-degree murder conviction would be a reasonable outcome, the jury found Officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder among other charges. The fact that the jury delivered a verdict that finally sends a message that no one—not even a police officer—is above the law is significant.

Since the release of the dash-cam video in 2015, the League has been working with a coalition of community groups to advocate for meaningful police reform, including the elimination of excessive use of force. This guilty verdict for Officer Van Dyke is a good outcome, which we hope provides some solace for Laquan McDonald’s family and friends, but it is only the beginning. The League will continue to work for the elimination of any institutional discrimination and prejudices that disadvantage African Americans and other vulnerable groups.”