Laquan McDonald

Laquan McDonald's Grandmother Slams Federal Prosecutors for not Charging Jason Van Dyke

“John Lausch, if you’re not going to do your job, you need to step down."

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens during during his first degree murder trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 in Chicago.
Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool

Laquan McDonald’s grandmother on Thursday called on federal prosecutors to reverse course and charge former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in her grandson’s murder.

“I want federal charges,” Tracey Hunter said during a news conference across the street from the federal courthouse. “John Lausch, if you’re not going to do your job, you need to step down.”

Lausch’s office said Monday it would not charge Van Dyke and that a family representative said the family was “in agreement” with the decision.

Hunter called Lausch’s claim of speaking to family a “lie” and contended her opinion should have been well known to the feds.

A spokesman for Lausch declined to comment.

Hunter said Lausch had been in touch with Marvin Hunter.

Although Marvin Hunter initially served as a family spokesperson, Tracey Hunter has in recent months said the immediate family no longer wanted Marvin Hunter — who made it known that he opposed federal charges — to speak on their behalf.

Marvin Hunter didn’t return messages seeking comment Thursday.

Tracey Hunter said her daughter, Tina Hunter, McDonald’s mother, was speechless when told of Lausch’s decision.

“I talked to her on the phone and she was just like, silence, so just me picturing a glimpse in my mind of the expression on her face was just unbearable, she couldn’t even talk. … All she could say was ‘What? What? That snake!’”

Tracey Hunter said Lausch’s office never contacted her or her daughter.

Tracey and Tina Hunter as well as a group of community activists renewed calls for federal charges to be filed after Van Dyke was released from state prison earlier this year. A group of activists — including Tracey Hunter — that called themselves the “Laquan Nine” was arrested Feb. 3 and ordered to stay away from the Dirksen courthouse after they allegedly refused repeated requests to leave the Loop building.

McDonald was killed on Oct. 20, 2014, when Van Dyke shot him 16 times. Van Dyke served more than three years of an 81-month sentence stemming from his state-court conviction for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for each bullet he fired at McDonald.

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