As Van Dyke Trial Nears: Reality Check

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Two high-profile decisions are expected to be revealed in the following days: the
Brett Kavanaugh decision, and the Jason Van Dyke trial. While the media devotes its time and attention to covering these cases, it may be helpful to take a step back, and address the impact that the results of these decisions will have on our individual lives.
It appears that while the student body as a whole appreciates the gravity of these cases, knowledge of their particulars are limited. For example, two students I asked thought that the Van Dyke trial had not begun yet, although the majority understood that the jurors are currently in deliberation. Elias O’Malley, ‘20, mentioned that while he considered the case very important, he had not been following the trial closely, he knew that two alternate jurors have said that they would have indicted Van Dyke. For this reason, O’Malley considers it “ likely that Van Dyke will be convicted.” Cyrus Lemoine, ‘19, mentioned Van Dyke’s statement that he would “have to shoot” Laquan Mcdonald was seriously incriminating to him. Furthermore, he mentioned an increased police presence in Humboldt Park, where he lives, in expectation of a verdict.

However, the majority of interviewed students were not as conscious of the details of the Van Dyke trial as these two. Jiajun Yan ‘21, and Jeremy Margolin ‘20 noted that they had not followed the trial, but they echoed the familiar sentiment that they were “extremely interested” in the verdict. However, vague interest in these proceedings is meaningless, if it is not pursued.

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