Jason Van Dyke to be released from prison
Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will be released from prison today.
Why it matters: Van Dyke was convicted in 2018 for killing Laquan McDonald. He served three years of his six-year, nine-month prison sentence and is now being released early for good behavior, but critics believe he should have spent longer behind bars.
What they're saying: "This is a clear and direct message to every awful law enforcement officer all across the country, if Jason Van Dyke is released," activist Will Calloway said at a recent press conference.
Driving the news: Activists and some Illinois lawmakers want the justice department to look into new federal civil rights charges against Van Dyke.
- They include Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland requesting a status update on the Justice Department's federal investigation.
- The Justice Department has declined to comment.
The latest: Calloway and other activists are calling for a citywide transit strike to protest the early release.
- A protest dubbed "The day of outrage" is planned for today at 5pm.
Backstory: Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, the first on-duty Chicago police officer convicted of murder in almost 50 years.
- He could have served more time, but Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan decided not to sentence Van Dyke for the aggravated battery, only the second-degree murder.
- Listen to Justin's live broadcast on WGN Radio the night of the verdict on Oct. 5, 2018.
What's next: Van Dyke could be transferred to a halfway house for up to 30 days before his outright release.
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