Monique Dixon, LDF’s Deputy Director of Policy, issued the following statement:

“No sentence imposed on former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke would restore the McDonald family’s loss of 17-year-old Laquan. LDF echoes the family’s sentiment that the hard work of many who tirelessly sought justice in this tragic case was victorious. Indeed, convictions of officers for the use of excessive force are rare. 

“This sentence also comes on the heels of the acquittal of three officers charged with conspiring to cover up Van Dyke’s killing of Mr. McDonald. The verdict is a disappointing setback to local reform efforts aimed at ending the documented code of silence that exists within the Chicago Police Department (CPD). A key witness in the cover up trial testified that she was called a rat for cooperating with prosecutors—underscoring the need for the CPD to thoroughly pursue departmental disciplinary charges against officers suspected of falsifying documents and other misconduct connected to the McDonald shooting.”

In October 2018, LDF submitted comments in support of the proposed consent decree between city officials and the Illinois attorney general, which seeks to address federal and city report findings that Chicago officers engaged in unlawful policing practices, including efforts to falsify or otherwise conceal evidence. LDF will continue to work toward unbiased and accountable policing practices nationwide.


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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