Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (CDSA) endorses the September 5th Rally at the opening day of the Jason Van Dyke trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald, and stands in solidarity with the organizers of this rally.
On October 20th, 2014, Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked away, executing him. In the wake of this murder, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Mayor’s office covered up its details, hiding Officer Van Dyke’s brutality and ensuring business as usual for racist cops and a Mayor’s office looking to win an election. It was only after a whistle blower informed journalists of the existence of a dash cam video, weeks later, that we learned the truth. On Wednesday, September 5th, almost four years later, the trial for Laquan’s murder is set to begin. Justice has been delayed, and history suggests justice will be difficult to come by.
It is imperative that police who murder community members be held accountable for their crimes as we work towards the transition to a non-carceral state. Chicago’s most important effort in this regard is the Chicago Police Accountability Council ordinance (CPAC) now before the City Council Public Safety Committee. CPAC places investigatory, policy, and hiring/firing control directly in the hands of the community, and out of the hands of our Mayor.
The rally on September 5th serves as a reminder to Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department that DSA and others will not stand silent on their crimes. We encourage all DSA members to participate or support the September 5th rally at the courthouse at 26th and California, 8 AM – 10 AM, and future rallies related to the Van Dyke trial.