Chicago Cop Found Guilty of Murder 🔫

 Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / TNS / Getty Images

Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / TNS / Getty Images

Racially charged shooting

In 2014, Laquan McDonald was fatally shot by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. McDonald was seen on a police dash cam video walking erratically while holding a 3-inch knife when he was shot by Dyke 16 times. The shooting incited protests nationwide about racially-motivated police violence.

Verdict: guilty

The Dept. of Justice conducted a civil rights investigation into the shooting and determined the Chicago Police force as having a culture of "excessive violence," especially against minorities. On Friday, Dyke was found guilty of 2nd-degree murder. The last time a Chicago police officer was found guilty of murder for an on-duty shooting was 50 years ago.


LEANING LEFT:

NY Times: ‘Justice for Laquan!’ Demonstrators Chant, as Chicago Officer Is Convicted of Murder

Chicago Tribune: A historic murder conviction of a Chicago cop — and a city's sigh of relief

The left’s headlines share a clear opinion: the jury’s verdict was correct. The left proceeds to use dramatic language to describe the day’s events, such as, “an entire city watched” and “Chicago exhaled.” In doing so, the left tries to take the moral high ground by assuming that the masses are in support of the verdict. The left also includes quotes from the right that disagree with the verdict.

LEANING RIGHT:

Fox News: Police union leader blasts Van Dyke verdict, says it resulted from 'sham trial'

Daily Mail: 'What cop would want to be proactive fighting crime after this disgusting charade?'

The right’s headlines take the polar opposite stance from the left; namely, that the trial was a “sham” and will lead to more crime due to police being fearful of legal retributions for doing their job. The right blames the “political operatives” for “stabbing [police officers] in the back.” 


What can we learn and agree on?

How can we find the middle ground when case after case of police officers questionably shooting black citizens keep recurring? Research shows it’s not as easy as saying white cops kill black suspects. While shooting McDonald 16 times is excessive, many point to McDonald as an example of how not to behave in public. Wielding a knife in front of police officers and ignoring commands complicated his situation (he was also on PCP when shot). It’s important for both sides to see that neither is perfect. Police should treat everyone with respect and react more calmly, as they were trained to do. Meanwhile, citizens shouldn't let a few bad apples turn all of our public defenders into enemies.

Prob a little bit of both

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