Laquan McDonald‘s killer is back on the street today, because, apparently, shooting a Black teen 16 times and then lying to cover it up is only worth three years out of a nearly seven-year sentence that was already far less time than it should have been.
As we previously reported, ex-Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was granted early release from prison last month, meaning he’s been freed after having served less than half of the 81-month sentence he got three years ago after he was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery for fatally shooting McDonald. He was paroled early for good behavior, which one can only imagine means he managed not to shank a Black person 16 times while in prison.
According to CNN, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s office on Thursday confirmed the release of the ex-cop who fired many of his 16 shots into a Black body that was already on the ground.
“In Illinois, individuals who are sentenced to prison are eligible for, by law, statutory good time,” Joe McMahon, the former special prosecutor who helped get Van Dyke convicted told CNN. “When I think back what my reaction was in 2019 when this sentence was handed down, (it) was, ‘Wow, he’s going to be out fairly quick.'”
McMahon, at the time, requested Van Dyke to serve 18 to 20 years—instead, he essentially served a year for every roughly 5.3 bullets he fired into Laquan’s body.
McMahon also acknowledged that “the sentence that was imposed is less than what a lot of people wanted,” and that “it’s less than what I asked for, it’s less than what I thought was appropriate.” Still, he insisted that it was “a successful prosecution.”
“It’s incredibly rare for a police officer in any jurisdiction—especially here in Chicago —to be charged, convicted and sentenced to prison for murder. That’s the message.”
No, sir, “the message” should have been a murderer serving an appropriate sentence in full. The fact that such a conviction is so “rare” says more about America’s justice system and the blue line protecting violent and racist cops than it does about how “successful” the prosecution was.