Donate

Killer Chicago Cop's Sentence Shows Black Lives Matter As Much As A Hot Dog With Ketchup

Post-Racial America

Back in October, the fortunately former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke shot the 17-year-old McDonald 16 times as he walked away from the cop, which would make him the black hat in a spaghetti western. It turns out Judge Vincent Gaughan, however, is a fan of western villains because he sentenced Van Dyke to just six years and nine months in prison.

This was far less than the 18 years minimum the prosecution was seeking, and state sentencing guidelines allowed for up to 96 years or more. This is because McDonald was a human being, not a vintage automobile Van Dyke defaced with his keys because it was parked outside the lines. I'm sure the prosecution stressed this point. McDonald's great uncle, the Rev. Martin Hunter, movingly if perhaps futilely reminded the judge of his nephew's humanity when he read a letter that was written in McDonald's now silenced voice.


"Please think about me and about my life when you sentence this person to prison," Hunter read. "Why should this person be free, when I am dead forever?"

That's a good question. Van Dyke could likely only serve as little as three and a half years with good behavior, but let's not lose our perspective. It's not as if Van Dyke voted illegally. That can get you five years in Texas if you're a black woman. Illinois doesn't always dispense soft-serve sentences, either. Van Dyke received half the prison time of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who didn't actually kill anyone.

You know Van Dyke's sentence was bullshit when McDonald's family is devastated and Van Dyke is giddy as a school boy on Christmas morning: "I got the Red Ryder BB gun and a miscarriage of justice! Thanks, Judge Santa!"

The officers who allegedly helped cover up Van Dyke's killing of McDonald were acquitted Friday because it's apparently not a crime to support another officer's bullshit account of events. Van Dyke claimed McDonald failed to "comply" and made a threatening move to the police. Dashcam video later showed that Van Dyke was lying his ass off.

During the sentencing, Judge Gaughan said, "You can see the pain on both sides of the family." Maybe he could, but if Gaughan or any other judge sentenced non-killer cops like they were Counselor Troi from "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Illinois state prisons would be empty. "I feel... pain from both sides, Captain. Let's give the Cardassian time served."

It might shock even some well-meaning white liberals to learn that black people charged with crimes also have families who'd rather they not spend the rest of their lives locked away. Edward Douglas, once a Chicago Transit Authority employee, is serving life in federal prison because of ridiculously harsh drug sentences. Certainly, his family demonstrated enough pain? Maybe instead of better public defenders, we need pro bono theatrical training for relatives of the convicted: "Sing out, Louise! Your dad is looking at 20 to life!"

We can appreciate that the family of someone who's committed a crime suffers greatly but it's beyond offensive to equate that suffering with what the victim's family experiences. We saw this repulsive "tragedy for both sides" narrative when Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. It's especially vile when one family clearly has suffered the ultimate loss, one that's irretrievable. Van Dyke's life has a good chance of returning to normalcy after he completes his wrist-slap sentence. His "Blue Lives Matter" social circle will hardly hold his killing of a black teen against him and withhold invitations to social gatherings.

In a brief statement, Van Dyke said he'd have to "live with" McDonald's death for the "rest of his life," most of which won't be spent in prison. He'll be 43 when he's released, and his lead defense attorney, Dan Herbert said his client is "happy about the prospect of life ahead of him" and being reunited with his wife and two daughters, which are one spouse and two children more than McDonald will ever have.

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

Yr Wonkette is supported ONLY by reader donations! We love you! You pay our rent.

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)


Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

$
Donate with CC
'Bella" by Wonkette Operative 'IdiokraticSubpoenaKommissar'

Sunday already, which means a substantial portion of US America is preparing to be astonished/heartbroken/outraged by the series finale of that show with the dragons, while another portion is just going to stay off Twitter for three days because nothing will make any sense. Yr Dok Zoom tends to come very late to trendy things, so get ready for our own thoughts on the gamy thrones show sometime in about 2023, or never. But we'd be glad to tell you just how much we enjoy the brilliance and humanity of the Cartoon Network series "Steven Universe," which debuted in 2013 and we started bingeing on the Hulu last month, late again.

Hell, we still want to talk about that one Mrs Landingham episode of "The West Wing," which we first watched years after it aired (We finally bought our new used car yesterday, and know one thing: don't drive over to the White House to show it off to President Bartlet). We might even get around to reading Infinite Jest someday. We hear it has something to do with a superhero team and a guy named Thanos. So hey, let's talk about culture and missing out and patching together some knowledge of what's happening anyway.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Get Me Roger Stone

Roger Stone, his wife would like you to know, is broke. And he is not dealing with it well. Once in khaki suits, gee, he looked swell, full of that yankee-doodle-dee-dum, but now no one calls him Al anymore and he has to stand on a street corner singing "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?"

Yesterday, the conservative but also kind of Never Trumper site The Bulwark revealed the details of a grifty "fundraising" plea sent out by Stone's wife Nydia, begging supporters to give money to the Stones in order to help them keep up the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

It was titled "I am embarrassed to write this."

"Dear Friend," begins the missive. "My husband and I have an urgent new problem and we need your help. I told my husband I was going to write you, one of his most valued supporters. I am embarrassed to write this, but I must."

"Mrs. Roger Stone" tells a tale of woe: FBI agents swooping in on them at the crack of dawn to arrest her husband, a subsequent "fake news" feeding frenzy causing friends and fans to abandon the Stones.

"He laid off all our consultants, contractors and employees, and we have 'pulled in our belts' like so many Americans in 'tight times,'" she wrote, sounding for all the world like a plucky working-class patriot, not the wife of a man who made and lost his fortune lying in the service of power.

She should have been more embarrassed.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc