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Chicago Cop Charged With First-Degree Murder In Death Of Laquan McDonald

The Chicago police officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times on October 20, 2014 was charged with first-degree murder on November 17, 2015. Jason Van Dyke was the “first on-duty Chicago police officer to be charged with that crime,”

Chicago officer had history of complaints before Laquan McDonald shooting

Van Dyke was the target of at least 20 complaints and two lawsuits before the October 2014 shooting and in almost every case, he was cleared. Within his 14 years on the force, most of the allegations involve excessive force and use of racial slurs.

Until this shooting, there were no criminal proceedings against Van Dyke. However, a jury did award a Chicago man, Edward Nance, $350,000 after determining Van Dyke used excessive force during a traffic stop and a judge tacked on $180,000 for Nance’s legal fees. Van Dyke had excessively and painfully cuffed Nance, injuring his shoulders, before pulling him out of the car. No criminal charges were filed against Nance, but he had to go the hospital and required surgeries on his shoulders, according to the complaint.

Nance told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year that he felt the Police Department didn’t take his complaint seriously and that Van Dyke and his partner were “back on the street like nothing ever happened.” Nance said during an April interview, that the shooting of Laquan never should’ve gone so far. “It just makes me so sad, because it shouldn’t have happened. … He shouldn’t have been on the street in the first place after my incident,” he told the newspaper. “It makes me feel like it could have been me.”

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Since the October 2014 shooting, Van Dyke had been allowed to work and remained with the Chicago Police Department on limited duty.

Despite Van Dyke’s history of past complaints his lawyer, wife and police union are standing beside him. Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police lodge asked its current and former members Tuesday to contribute to a fund to post Van Dyke’s bail. His wife, Tiffany Van Dyke is now begging for handouts and has asked for $80,000, saying her husband is a “decorated officer”. She goes on to say, “he was in a shooting that has been covered extensively by the media and we ask for your patience for all the facts to come out in the trial.” “I do not want to have to fight this battle alone nor can we afford to fight it. We desperately need your help. I know this is a very large amount of money, and I have no idea how I could ever begin to thank every one or repay them for their kindness.” Perhaps if you had sat your tyrant of a husband down after his first dozen allegations of excessive force you might not have been left in this predicament. He runs wild like a savage, you sit back and watch and now that he has finally gotten reprimanded here you come panhandling.

Luckily, GoFundMe had deactivated the page. Its terms and conditions state the site cannot be used to raise money for “the defense or support of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity.” 

Attorney Daniel Herbert, who has repeatedly told CNN that Van Dyke truly feared for his life, says the video hardly tells the entire story.

“Video by nature is two-dimensional, and it distorts images,” he said. “So what appears to be clear on a video sometimes is not always that clear.” He can’t be serious?!

“This is not a murder case, despite what you heard in the courtroom. It’s truly not a murder case, and we feel that we will be very successful in defending this case,” the attorney said. His attorney must be on crack-cocaine!

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