Light Sentence for Convicted Pig Murderer of a Black Youth

A Slap on the Wrist for a Killer Cop
A Slap in the Face to the Masses of People

| Revolution Newspaper |


Last October, a jury found Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder of Laquan McDonald and 16 counts of aggravated battery. On January 18, a judge handed down a sentence for Van Dyke that is a sickening, brutal beatdown of Black people and an outrage against humanity. For the racist murder of Laquan McDonald, the ripping away of the life of a 17-year-old who was loved and was just beginning his life, this police officer got a sentence of six years, nine months—and he could be out in half that. This came just one day after another judge handed down a verdict of “not guilty” on three former and current Chicago cops, including Van Dyke’s partner, on charges of lying about and conspiring to cover up the murder of Laquan.

In the courtroom on January 18, the prosecution brought to the stand four Black men who testified about personal experiences with Van Dyke’s brutality and racism. All were routine traffic stops. One man had a gun pointed at his temple by Van Dyke, another was choked, all were called “motherfuckers,” and at least one called “nigger.” Edward Nance said Van Dyke violently pulled him out of the car, handcuffed him, slammed him face-first on the car, and dragged him by the cuffs. He had been a high school basketball and football referee at the time, but because of the physical and psychological trauma from what he had suffered at the hands of Van Dyke, “I can’t referee no more. I’m in constant pain every day.”

After a day of harrowing witness testimony revealing that Van Dyke was a terrorist-at-large hounding and brutalizing Black people long before the less than 15 seconds he took to decide to murder Laquan McDonald... after thousands and thousands of cases of police getting away with murder after murder after murder of Black, Latino, and Native American people... in a courthouse that every day is locking away the lives of Black and Latino people in a meat grinder of mass incarceration... after America’s entire history of white supremacy and lynch mob terror that the police proudly carry on into today... after all the struggle of the people and dragging truth into light required to finally get ONE of these killer cops found guilty of murder... this sentence, this sickening charade of a punishment, spits in the face of everyone who has a heart for justice. This came as the second in a one-two punch after the full acquittal of the three officers who were tried for the vast conspiracy to cover up and lie about the murder of Laquan McDonald.

Ironically, the outrageously light sentence on killer cop Van Dyke—and the acquittal of three fellow pigs the day before—comes at the start of the Martin Luther King Day weekend, which supposedly marks how far Black and other oppressed people have come in America. In fact, this sentence and yesterday’s verdict send the message loud and clear that there are still virtually no circumstances in America under which a cop can be seriously punished for murdering a Black man, woman, or child, or for systematically covering up and lying about these murders. This sentence and yesterday’s verdict strengthen the already devastating genocide of police terror and mass incarceration targeting Black, Latino, and Native American people. This sentence, and the previous day’s verdict, stand as a declaration and announcement of the absolute bankruptcy and worthlessness of this system and its supposed mechanisms of justice, and the crying need for revolution to overthrow this worthless system.

It has been true since day one in this country that white supremacy is woven into the fabric of America. What’s needed to bring an end to this is actual revolution, the overthrow of the system of capitalism-imperialism. What wasn’t always true, but IS true now, is that we have the science, the strategy, and the vision of and blueprint for a new society to make that revolution real. AND we have the leadership in Bob Avakian (BA), and the Party he leads, to take it to victory. BA has not only developed the new communism—he has brought forward a scientific understanding of the particular way in which the oppression of Black people has been bound together with a thousand ropes to the development of the capitalist-imperialist system. And how this oppression could be done away with as part of the revolution to emancipate all humanity. He’s provided strategic and tactical leadership for this, and he’s combined that with a deep-hearted connection to the masses of people.

So now that this system has shown you, again, its complete illegitimacy, what are you gonna do?

There IS a place for YOU in this revolution—not next year or next month, but now. Now is the time to go to work on preparing for revolution. Get with the Revolution Club, and learn about BA’s new communism as you Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. Go to and watch the speech by Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution: Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. Spread this everywhere.

This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown!


Bob Avakian, "Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off."

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. More about Bob Avakian here


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