In October of 2014, Laquan McDonald – a 17-year old Chicagoan – was shot and killed by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. In the months following, the story largely went under discussed until members of the Chicago-based Invisible Institute broke the story that the police accounting of events may be misleading and urged CPD to release video of the incident. This video showed Officer Van Dyke shooting Mr. McDonald 16 times in graphic detail. Following released of the video, community members were outraged, political entities were accused of a cover-up, and just over a year after the incident, Office Van Dyke was charged with 1st degree murder. Nearly 3 years after that a verdict of guilty to 2nd degree murder was handed down by the jurors in the case. Attorneys for Officer Van Dyke plan to appeal. Officer Van Dyke is currently being held without bond.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. In addition to the resources provided below, the deck contains discussion questions, an in-class activity, an online activity, and assessment questions.
Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for the Laquan McDonald Shooting
Learning Objective 1: Explain the relationship between experiences of state-sanctioned violence and race and gender in the United States
Learning Objective 2: Discuss how the militarization of police and police departments is reframing the job from protect and serve to observe and control.
Emma Sarappo, “Jason Van Dyke is Convicted on Murder and Aggravated Battery Charges” (Pacific Standard, text)
Jenni Fink, “Jason Van Dyke Verdict: Chicago Officer Guilty of Murder in Laquan McDonald Shooting Death” (Newsweek, video/text)
Christy Gutowski and Stacy St. Clair, “Officer Van Dyke speaks out for the first time since shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times” (Chicago Tribune, video/text)
Ryan Smith, “The Jason Van Dyke case showed the danger of being ruled by fear” (Chicago Reader, text)
Kate McGee, “Van Dyke Verdict Preparation Reveals Generational Divide on Chicago’s West Side” (WBEZ, audio/text)
Brandon E. Patterson, “Chicago is 31 Percent Black, But There’s Only One Black Juror at This Chicago Cop’s Murder Trial” (Mother Jones, print)
“Laquan McDonald Murder Covered Up By Chicago Police” (AJ+, video)
Nissa Rhee, “The Transparency Crusaders: Jamie Kalven’s Invisible Institute keeps the police accountable.” (Chicago magazine, text)