What’s Next? Activists Lay Out Vision for Steps Forward After Van Dyke Verdict


On the day after Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second degree murder, activists around the city of Chicago gathered to discuss the path forward after the verdict.

At St. Sabina Church, a cross was displayed with 16 bullet holes as Father Michael Pfleger addressed his congregation.

“Yesterday we took a moment to breathe and celebrate,” he said. “Today, we get up and we fight, and we’ll continue to fight because that was just a battle, but the war is still going on.”

Pfleger said that the verdict was a watershed moment for the city, but that it’s time for residents to seize the opportunity for change by going to the polls and voting, both in November’s statewide election and in the February mayoral election.

“We’ve got to decide if we really want systemic change,” he said. “We can’t just keep voting the same people in.”

Activists also gathered at Rainbow PUSH headquarters, where Reverend Jesse Jackson made a call for more accountability by public servants.

“There was an attempt to cover up and lie on every level by the city, the police, and Jason Van Dyke,” he said. “But the camera revealed the truth.”

A previously confidential court filing, which was unsealed Thursday, alleges an elaborate scheme by Chicago police officers to cover up aspects of the Laquan McDonald shooting.

The document, known as a proffer, alleges the officers created false or misleading police reports in the days and weeks after the killing in an effort to skew the official narrative in Van Dyke’s favor.

Three police officers are set to go on trial in November in connection with the shooting, as they are charged with conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice.

Chicago mayoral candidate Jamal Green also is calling for an FBI investigation into what he calls a cover-up of the truth behind the shooting.

“We need criminal prosecution here,” he said. “We’re investigating everybody else but the people who were in control at the time.”

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