Target: Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney
Goal: Investigate former allegations of police brutality against Chicago PD Officer Jason Van Dyke.
CNN reports that Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with the first-degree murder of Laquan McDonald, has been accused numerous times of using excessive force while in the line of duty. One former complaint also alleges Van Dyke hurled racial slurs at a suspect. Although none of the former alleged complaints resulted in disciplinary action against Van Dyke, the information paints a disturbing picture of an officer who might be prone to unnecessary violence, and it deserves a closer look.
In one instance, Van Dyke was accused of using excessive force during a traffic stop, and the suspect required multiple surgeries to repair the damage Van Dyke allegedly inflicted on his shoulder. A jury awarded the man $350,000 in a resulting civil suit, and the judge saw fit for Van Dyke to pay the plaintiff’s $180,000 legal fees, as well.
This is just one of 20 citizen complaints on file against Van Dyke, according to the University of Chicago Law School Mandel Legal Aid Clinic’s Invisible Institute database. Demand that the Cook County State’s Attorny, Anita Alvarez, suggest an investigation into former brutality complaints against Van Dyke.
Dear State Attorney Alvarez,
CNN reports that Jason Van Dyke has a history of violence against suspects, and I believe this history should be investigated further, in light of the state’s decision to file first-degree murder charges against the Chicago police officer this week for Laquan Mc Donald’s shooting death.
Video shows Van Dyke unloading his magazine on McDonald and, although Van Dyke was initially found innocent of any wrongdoing in the previous complaints, his alleged actions against McDonald, coupled with these numerous complaints, warrant an additional look into this man’s behavior. By looking at his past brutality allegations, he does not have a good character reference. It is not surprising if Van Dyke is guilty of his alleged murder. He does not need to be working as a police officer. A law enforcement officer should never be allowed to use excessive and racially motivated force against any suspect. Encourage an investigation against Van Dyke’s past brutality allegations so that this man never works as a police officer ever again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The All-Night Images