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NAACP, Senators Ask Garland To Pursue Charges in McDonald Killing

The NAACP has asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to move forward with federal charges against Jason Van Dyke, days before the former Chicago police officer is set to be released from prison, CNN reports. Van Dyke was convicted in 2018 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting and killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He was sentenced to over six years in prison but is scheduled to be released Thursday, a little more than three years after being sentenced. "The lack of resolution in the nearly six-year-old Federal Grand Jury investigation, convened in response to the shooting death of young Black minor, Laquan McDonald, coupled with the scheduled prison release of his shooter, disgraced former Chicago Police Officer and convicted Illinois state felon, Jason Van Dyke, are clearly alarming," the letter from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said.

Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin, who serves as Senate Judiciary Committee chair, and Tammy Duckworth penned a joint letter asking for a status update on the federal investigation into the "shocking and upsetting" murder of McDonald. The senators said Van Dyke's state conviction does not prevent the federal government from charging him, citing the recent guilty plea of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin to federal civil rights charges in the killing of George Floyd months after being convicted of Floyd's murder at the state level.


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