The Story of Chicago Police State Racism

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

“I want my husband home. I need him to be safe.”

– Tiffany Van Dyke, wife of Jason Van Dyke, the murderer of Laquan McDonald

Among the many different forms taken by 21st century U.S.-American racism, one is the curious way in which white-owned corporate media and the criminal justice system racially differentiate worthy from unworthy victims.

Take the case of Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who coldly executed the Black teenager Laquan McDonald on the evening of October 20th, 2014.  The dash-cam videotape of the execution has been viewed by many millions of people.

There’s a reason the city’s police, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, and then Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez tried to keep the Laquan McDonald kill tape under wraps.  The video didn’t lie. It displayed the senseless murder of a Black youth by a white cop. It showed Van Dyke blasting sixteen bullets into McDonald, who clearly posed no imminent threat to Van Dyke or anyone else. The fusillade continued as McDonald lay prone, smoke rising from his twitching body with each new shot.

This was no small political matter in the age of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and Black Lives Matter.

Scanning Chicago area television and during and since Van Dyke finally came to trial last fall, you’d almost think that Van Dyke and his family were the real victims.  Again and again, the city and metropolitan area’s…

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