How a Trump DoJ May Mean More Shootings of Unarmed African Americans
The Chicago police department made headlines once again for the fatal shooting of an unarmed 19 year old African American man.
According to Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, Kajuan Raye was shot to death by a police officer for pointing a gun at the cop twice during a foot chase.
However, the medical examiner’s office, after conducting an autopsy on Raye, reported that the victim died from a gunshot wound to the back and is ruling the death a homicide.
The story the Chicago police department is pushing revolves around Raye having a gun which justified his murder; and yet Johnson admitted in a news conference that his department “conducted and completed a grid search during the overnight hours for ballistic evidence and the offender’s weapon and we were not able to locate a weapon as of yet.”
Johnson further revealed that the police investigation does not “have a complete synopsis of exactly how and what transpired.”
Despite Johnson’s assertion that Raye was at fault during the encounter, detectives and evidence technicians within the Chicago police department “are now in the process of retrieving surveillance video that may have captured the account.”
The death of Raye is just one in a long list of murders of African American men who are unarmed committed by the Chicago police department.
Last month, on the second anniversary of the police-involved shooting death of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald, Illinois lawmakers introduced a bill that would hold political officials accountable for covering up police use-of-force.
Called the Laquan McDonald Act , and sponsored by state congressman Ken Dunkin, this law would focus on permitting citizens of Chicago and other cities in Illinois the chance to demand a recall of any elected official that is involved in covering up a police-involved shooting; from the mayor to the Illinois state attorney, and including members of the Board of Aldermen in the city of Chicago.
Now former officer Jason Van Dyke was caught on camera shooting McDonald 16 times within seconds of arriving on the scene.
Since being dismissed from the police force, Van Dyke has been employed as a janitor for the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The FOP told the press that they did not want Van Dyke to be without means to pay his bills and are paying him $12 per hour.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board published an op-ed warning about how a Trump administration would affect the movement toward police reforms, especially in Chicago.
In the op-ed, the editorial board points out: “There is concern that the Justice Department under President Donald Trump will back off the civil rights probe of the Chicago Police Department that was begun last year after the release of video in the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.”
With the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions to US Attorney General for the incoming administration, there is an expectation that Sessions “would slam to a close the effort here, after serving up a bland and toothless final report.”
Additionally, there is a concern that “Trump’s Justice Department will put the kibosh on any investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office here into the shooting of McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke, the possible attempted cover-up by other officers and the possible complicity of other higher-ranking police officials.”