Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer convicted of killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, is expected to be released from prison in early February, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Van Dyke's release is planned for Feb. 3 after serving more than three years in prison following a conviction of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
He was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in prison for killing McDonald in 2014. After responding to a disturbance call in the 4100 Block of South Pulaski Road on Oct. 20, 2014, Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times. Most of the shots he fired were after McDonald fell to the ground.
Van Dyke previously filed an appeal, and in Oct. 2020, llinois’ First District Appellate Court dismissed it at his request.
“Mr. Van Dyke’s decision prevents additional years of litigation, bringing finality to the thorough prosecution of this case in which his rights were protected and justice was served,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said at the time.
William Calloway, a Chicago community activist, said he's shocked and outraged about the decision regarding Van Dyke's release.
"We're livid, on behalf of the community, particularly the Black community," he said. "We are livid."
The only way to ensure justice is served, he said, is if the U.S. Department of Justice intervenes. The activist and others are calling on the DOJ to file additional civil rights charges as they say Van Dyke violated McDonald's civil rights.
With Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Calloway says the news of Van Dyke's expected release is especially painful.
"It's a slap in the face for organizers across this country and all those that celebrate MLK on this weekend," he said.