On the day that former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was released from prison, a small, peaceful and vocal group of protesters gathered outside of the Federal Building in the city on Thursday.
Van Dyke, who served three years in prison after being convicted in the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald, was released from prison on Thursday, and the slain teen’s family, including his grandmother, are calling for additional charges after the release.
Tracey Hunter blasted the decision to release Van Dyke early.
“That was no time served,” she said. “I want federal charges against this man. It’s not going to stop. I’m going to keep trying until justice served for my grandson.”
The McDonald family was joined by other supports at the Federal Building for the protest, hoping to speak to U.S. Attorney Jon Lausch. Several members of the group were detained after an altercation with U.S. marshals at the building.
“It’s Black History Month. We trying to get federal charges,” activist Dr. LaShawn Lattice of Make Noise for Change said. “We want Washington to hear us. People are willing to give up their freedoms for this.”
Community activist and Congressional candidate Jamal Green was also arrested at the scene, and was later released, according to officials.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger also went inside the courthouse to deliver a letter to Lausch, calling on his office to bring federal civil rights charges against Van Dyke.
“We object to what is taking place with today’s release,” Pfleger said. “He was slapped on the wrist.”