Justice, Upended

The Illinois Supreme Court upheld a 7-year sentence for the former police officer who shot African-American teen Laquan McDonald 16 times and killed him in 2014.

Back in January, the former Chicago police officer was given a sentence of six years and nine months despite testimony from multiple black men who had experienced their own violent encounters with Jason Van Dyke which all pointed to a long-standing record of abuse and racial bias.

The state Supreme Court denied a request by the attorney general, Kwame Raoul, to resentence Van Dyke, a decision which has sparked city-wide outrage.

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Six Years, Nine Months for Murder

Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who shot 16-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, received a sentence of six years and nine months for the murder.

Despite outcry from the community and its leaders, Special Prosecutor Joe McMahon — who had recommended a minimum sentence of 18 years — insisted that justice had been served, calling the sentence “significant.”

The paltry sentence was given in light of testimony from multiple black men who experienced their own violent encounters with Van Dyke, indicating a long-standing record of abuse and racial bias.

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Officers Acquitted in Laquan McDonald Case

Tuesday, a Chicago judge acquitted three police officers accused of covering up the murder of then 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The judge’s ruling comes despite major discrepancies between the three officers’ reports as well as dash cam footage that contradicts police claims that McDonald was approaching them aggressively at the time he was shot.

White police officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald, who was black, 16 times and was convicted of second-degree murder in October last year.

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Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

The white police officer who shot and killed Botham Jean in his own apartment in Texas has recently been indicted for murder.

Originally, Guyger was charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury has decided to pursue the murder charge against her following court testimony.

Guyger had entered the apartment of 26-year-old Botham Jean, who is African-American, on the evening of September 6 and shot and killed Jean, claiming she thought that she was in her own apartment and that he was an intruder.

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Police Try to Blame Man for His Own Death

Jemel Roberson was subduing an active shooter at a bar in a neighborhood outside Chicago when he was shot by the police officers who are blaming him for his death.

It’s a painfully familiar story: a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to do the right thing.

Roberson was a security guard for Manny’s Blue Room bar in Robbins, Illinois, who was subduing an active shooter in the bar when police entered the building and shot him dead.

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Video Footage Contradicts Chicago Police Officer’s Story

Video footage of the encounter between Chicago Police Officer Khalil Muhammed and Ricardo Hayes was just released and contradicts Muhammed’s claims.

Muhammed shot Hayes, an unarmed black man, last year while he was off duty, and claimed that he did so following an “escalated” encounter in which Muhammed thought Hayes was drawing a weapon.

The footage released by the Chicago police accountability office contradicts this claim and shows Muhammed pursuing Hayes in his vehicle and shooting directly at Hayes after he stepped towards the vehicle with his arms at his side.

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Amber Guyger Fired

The Dallas Police Department has fired Officer Amber Guyger, 30, after she shot and killed Botham Jean, 26, in his own apartment.

The incident sparked national outrage with protesters demonstrating for more than a week after his death.

There were multiple accounts of how the shooting took place and there were frequent discrepancies in Guyger’s recollection of events, prompting confusion and suspicion from many.

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Officer Who Killed Antwon Rose Charged with Criminal Homicide

As protesters continue to organize around 17-year-old Antwon Rose’s murder, Officer Michael Rosfeld has been charged with criminal homicide for shooting the teen multiple times as he ran away from police.

Steve Zappala, Allegheny County’s district attorney, has said that he believes his office has a strong case to argue for first degree murder.

“I find that Rosfeld’s actions were intentional. He was not acting to prevent death or serious bodily injury.”  — Zappala

Rose, like so many other black men murdered by the police, was unarmed and had his back to police when he was shot three times.

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“Things That Make White People Uncomfortable”

That’s the title of NFL three-time Pro Bowler and longtime activist Michael Bennett’s book, which is available now.

Bennett has protested alongside blacklisted NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who rose to nationwide infamy following his decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color.

“It’s so much bigger than just the police brutality. There are so many issues that are happening that people are not aware of. And a lot of people who watch football, they just kind of just think that when you’re in that world, none of that exists. So we wanted to make sure that even though we’re playing in this league and we’re able to do these things on Sunday and we’re these athletes who win and where we get injured, we still are people. And we still are connected to the things and the issues that are happening around us. It could be our family. It could be our sisters. It could be our mothers. But at the same time, we want to be able to bring their stories to life.”  — Bennett

You can purchase Bennett’s book at your local bookstore, or online at Amazon.com.

To read Iron Triangle Press’ coverage of the recent ban on kneeling during the national anthem, click here.