WGN9: Activists hold ‘teach-in’ on Laquan McDonald’s 23rd birthday while calling for CPD reform

By October 1, 2020News

CHICAGO — Laquan McDonald would have been 23 years old Friday.

The October 2014 police shooting death of Laquan McDonald forever left an imprint on the City of Chicago. It took for than a year for the city to initially release the dash cam video, showing officer Jason Van Dyke shoot McDonald 16 times.

Activist William Calloway, one of the men who fought for the release of the dash cam video, organized a “teach-in” Friday night to honor McDonald’s birthday.

He is calling for a complete overhaul of the current police union contract, including doing away with the 24 hour delay for officer statements in shooting cases and the right for officers to review and amend statements previously made to investigators.

Several activists, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, spoke about the cases of McDonald, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and George Floyd. They said while some progress has been made, more work needs to be done.

“The fact remains that 80-90% of the consent decree is not being met, there is still police violence happening in our city and the Chicago police department takes up 40% of the budget at 1.6 billion dollars,” Calloway said. “So we need to start to reimagine what that looks like if we allocate 10-20% of their budget and reinvest it to communities, like South Shore.”

Calloway would also like to see COPA have the right to recommend the firing of officers with multiple complaints.

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