How Chicago Is Preparing for Van Dyke Verdict

Gabriela Marulanda

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       It is an emotional time in the city of Chicago as the Jason Van Dyke trial approaches. Prosecutors argue that Jason Van Dyke showed no regard for Laquan McDonald’s life when he fired at the black teen 16 times in 2014. Activists are calling for people to take to the streets regardless of the trial’s outcome.

         The whole city is prepared for whatever the outcomes of the trial may be: The Chicago Police Department is lengthening shifts for their officers in the case that widespread protests occur, certain Chicago Public Elementary schools plan on going into a lockdown drill protocol if Jason Van Dyke is acquitted during the school day, and schools such as St. Ignatius College Prep have already decided that they will allow students to leave school early on October 5th because of potentially dangerous situations if the verdict is announced during the school day.

        When asked her thoughts on all of the precautions the city is taking in regards to the trial, Mia Engelmann ‘19 states, “I really don’t see the need for having to do all of this because that’s just assuming that the verdict will be not guilty.” Others, like Tyler Thenstedt ‘19 agree with the safety measures Chicago is taking. She states, “I heard that scary stuff was going to happen- like threats about burning down Van Dykes home, so I think that it only ensures that everyone stays safe.”

         Whatever your thoughts are on the precautions that the city of Chicago is taking, it is important that whether you are protesting or going straight home, that you stay safe.  

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