Laquan McDonald's Family Demands Federal Probe Ahead of Jason Van Dyke's Release

Activists are calling for a day of action on Feb. 3, the day Van Dyke is expected to be released from prison

NBC Universal, Inc.

Loved ones of Laquan McDonald have called for a federal investigation into the teen's shooting death as the former Chicago police officer convicted in his killing is set to be released from prison in early February.

Former Chicago police officer Jason 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.

Van Dyke shot the 17-year-old 16 times after responding to a disturbance call on Oct. 20, 2014. Most of the shots he fired were after McDonald fell to the ground.

Relatives of McDonald, Rev. Jesse Jackson and community leaders stood in unity Monday as they demanded that the U.S. Department of Justice open an investigation and pursue federal civil rights charges against Van Dyke.

"It's crazy how I go to a cemetery and talk to a tombstone while this man can talk to his wife and two kids," said Tanesha Hunter, McDonald's aunt.

On the day Van Dyke is set to walk out of prison, activists are calling for a day of action that will include a protest at the Chicago Federal Building.

Community activists also hope to raise awareness of inequities in the criminal justice system by shutting down Chicago's public transit system for 16 days - one for each day shot fired.

"How can a police sworn to protect and defend shoot a person 16 times and live about [it] for over a year?" Jackson said.

Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition says the release of Van Dyke should be a wake-up call and the motivation behind a renewed push for peaceful protests and legal actions to change the system.

"The pain and suffering I have endured, and my daughter has endured is just unbearable," said Tracie Hunter, McDonald's grandmother.

Contact Us