Friday, February 15, 2019

Jason Van Dyke’s sentence was fair — Kwame Raoul is wrong to challenge it



     Damn.
     Just when the Laquan McDonald case finally seemed to approach what they call “closure” in the tragedy biz, with former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke sentenced to 81 months in prison, meaning he’d serve three years and change for pumping 16 shots into the teenager on Oct. 20, 2014, along comes our new Illinois attorney general, Kwame Raoul, to kick over the can brimming with human heartache and ask the Illinois Supreme Court for a longer sentence.
     Damn. 
     And worse, from my perspective — self-referential perspective, sure, but what else is new? — is that now I have to write about it, having managed to studiously avoid the whole thing, mostly, mucking around with Roman philosophers and British dukes and whatever shiny trinket I can find to distract myself and maybe you.
     The whole story is just so grim. From 17-year-old McDonald staggering around Pulaski Avenue on a school night, clutching his 3-inch knife, to the first wave of cops somehow managing to keep their distance until Van Dyke races up, ponders the situation for a full six seconds, then empties his automatic into McDonald, to the gauzy veil of lies ritualistically tossed over the crime, reflexively, out of habit, not just by officers on the scene, but by the superintendent, the mayor and a shrugging City Council, which licked its thumb and peeled off $5 million of your tax money, handing it to McDonald’s family, who might not have been taking as careful care of the teen as you or I might, while he was alive, but who were scrupulous about keeping their yaps zipped until a journalist — no wonder everybody hates us — dragged the video into public view just in time for Christmas 2015.
     Sure, during the trial, as people agonized over the possibility of a police code of silence — could it possibly exist? — I thought of piping up, “Are you people insane?” The code of silence is the CPD, body and soul. But anyone who knows anything about Chicago already knows that, and I try not to traffic in the obvious.
     Damn.

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8 comments:

  1. Van Dyke got away with cold blooded murder. He should've gotten the maximum term. When the feds put him in gen pop, they were sending him a message, which apparently his family doesn't understand! Van Dyke's wife's idiotic comments that her husband was only doing his job were appallingly thoughtless, when she said she wanted him home safe with his family.
    I'm sure that Laquan McDonald's family would also like him home with his family!
    I could've forgiven Van Dyke for one or two shots, but 16? He was totally out of control that night & proved he never should've been allowed to be a cop!
    The feds also gave Whitey Bulger a far more serious message several months ago. That was for his taking the FBI for fools & then being on the run for so many years.

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  2. Good point, NS, about Laquan's family not taking such good care of him beforehand.

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  3. You would like it to all go away. And I guess so would we all. But the jury, who heard all the facts and arguments, seemed blindsided by the light sentence. Which suggests that some judicial review might not be amiss.

    Tom

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  4. Jason Van Dyke's judge, defense attorney, and Mrs. Van Dyke, are hiding there true feelings for Jason, and the proper sentence he should serve. Let us say in the theater of the mind, any of them, or any of us are made up in black face. Not the hokey minstrel show crap, but the authentic work of a true professional make up artists likes who did up Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder. Then SuperGlue their/your mouth shut, and a three inch knife to their/your hand. Placed in a dark alley would you like to be confronted by Jason Voorhees, no wait, I mean Jason Van Dyke? Or would you prefer a Jew so evil he is serving a life sentence, like Jonathan Pollard? I'm pretty sure what the choice would be.

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  5. I'm not going to bawl about it if Van Dyke gets a longer sentence, especially since his enablers got off scot-free.

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  6. Today's column is searing and bold.
    Has been unsafe to be near police officers for some time. Unsafe to liberty and life, much more, truth.

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  7. Sixteen shots was, no pun intended, overkill. Less than seven years? He got off easy, because he'll walk in three. He didn't see a human being, he saw a black dog. But even a rabid black dog wouldn't receive that kind of treatment. Nor would a white person. All he saw was just another (n-word) who didn't matter.

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