The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Chicago’s Murdering Cops—The Rot Goes Right to the Top

Dec 7, 2015

Sixteen shots. That’s how many bullets Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke fired into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The cops involved gave signed statements asserting that McDonald was coming at them, threatening them, and that he even continued to wave a knife after he had been shot all 16 times. The dash-cam video from another police car showed clearly that they lied. Van Dyke shot McDonald as the youth was walking away. Fourteen of those shots were fired as McDonald lay dying on the ground.

Chicago police have shot 409 people since September of 2007, when the city created the “Independent Police Review Authority,” or IPRA. The IPRA found problems with only TWO out of those 409 cases. Anyone smell cover-up?

The Laquan McDonald case sure smells like a cover-up.

It’s not the only cover-up, not by far. The killer cop Van Dyke was himself involved in investigating the 2005 shooting of a 23-year-old janitor in a sausage factory, Emmanuel Lopez. Van Dyke, who submitted the “official” incident report, admitted he did no investigating at all and simply copied the cops’ version of what happened, word-for-word, into his report.

The stench goes much higher than just a few lying cops. Off-duty Chicago cop Dante Servin fired over his shoulder, into a crowd, and killed an unarmed woman, Rekia Boyd. The case was so egregious that Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez was forced to charge the cop. But she charged only manslaughter, not murder. A judge threw out the case–because he said it should have been charged as murder. He let off the murdering cop on legal double-talk. Dante Servin was left on the force–like other murdering cops–until Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy fired him, just hours before the Laquan McDonald video was released.

Behind the killer cops stand the Cook County States Attorney’s office, the judges, the police hierarchy, and the “Independent” Police Review Authority.

In 2008, a federal jury found that police department officials had covered up a beating, and that a “code of silence” in the department protected cops from facing discipline. Off-duty Chicago cop Anthony Abbate had brutally beat bartender Karolina Obrycka, a case also caught on video. Mayor Emanuel’s response was to promise Obrycka that the city wouldn’t appeal her $850,000 settlement, if she would help them erase the “code of silence” language from the verdict!

Emanuel did everything he could to block the release of the police dash-cam videos of the McDonald killing. Only after the city was forced to release them did States Attorney Anita Alvarez finally charge the cop with murder–a year and a month after the shooting. Only when the release of the video produced wide public outrage did Emanuel fire Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy.

Lorenzo Davis, a retired Chicago police commander, recently declared: “The public cannot trust anyone who is currently in the system.” He was the cop who refused to change his conclusions in six cases where he found cops had wrongly shot people, even after the IPRA chief ordered him to.

Emanuel said: “Jason Van Dyke does not represent the police department.” No–not just the police department, but also every rotten official in Chicago involved in creating and protecting this murderous system.