/  01.16.2022

Protestors, upset by the impending release of the former Chicago police officer who killed Laquan McDonald, are calling for a citywide shutdown of the Chicago Transit Authority, The Chicago Tribune reports. 

According to the publication, nearly a dozen activists protested on Saturday (Jan. 15) at the 95th Street train station. They chanted, “Say his name: Laquan McDonald,” and “Black Lives Matter” before handing out flyers detailing why they want a CTA shutdown.

As REVOLT previously reported, ex-Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke is set to be released from prison early after serving more than three years behind bars. Van Dyke will reportedly be freed on Feb. 3 after being convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in 2018.

Chicago-based community activist William Calloway thinks Van Dyke should remain behind bars. He and others who attended Saturday’s protest want Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch to federally charge Van Dyke

“You got a white man that murdered a boy, shooting him 16 times in cold blood on camera,” Calloway told reporters at a news conference at the CTA 95th st. stop. “And the federal government has not even touched him. That’s not justice. That’s racism. We got to call it what it is.”

Calloway also mentioned to The Chicago Tribune that activists are trying to convince transit unions to agree to stop operating the trains and buses until Van Dyke is federally charged.

“You have Black men in the federal penitentiary for nonviolent drug offenses doing more time than Jason Van Dyke has done in the state penitentiary,” Calloway said. “That’s not justice. That’s horrible. And we can change that.”

One of McDonald’s kin, however, believes that federally charging Van Dyke won’t change the systemic issues that led to his family member’s death. Reverend Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s great-uncle, told The Tribune that “getting Jason Van Dyke to go to jail, to federal prison, at best it will only cost the taxpayers more money.” 

“… If we really want to have change, if we really want to use this for a moment for change, then let us get criminal justice reform for real.”