After an Illinois judge sentenced former police officer Jason Van Dyke to just over six years in prison for the 2014 killing of teenager Laquan McDonald, some residents of the community are calling him a "slap."
Cook County judge Vincent Gaughan sentenced the former officer Friday to nearly seven years in prison. Last year he was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated badault with a firearm, one for each bullet he shot at a 17-year-old McDonald.
Friday's announcement means Van Dyke could be released for good behavior in less than three and a half years, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors wanted Van Dyke to serve at least 18 years in prison; his lawyers sought release on parole.
William Calloway, a Chicago community organizer, told reporters on Friday that he and other members of the community were "devastated" after hearing Van Dyke's sentence. The activist was instrumental in helping to release the police video on camera in 2015, which showed the white officer shooting the black teenager 16 times, even after McDonald was on the ground.
"He deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars," he said. "That is something that is a consensus between the activist community, the black community and most of the people of Chicago."
He added that Van Dyke's 81-month sentence is "a slap in the face" to the community that has protested the McDonald & # 39; s murder.
"And a slap on the wrist. [for Van Dyke], "he continued.
Reverend Marvin Hunter, McDonald's great-uncle, said the ruling reduced McDonald's life to a "second-clbad citizen" status, the AP reported.
He also told reporters Friday that Van Dyke's sentence was a victory because he sent a message to "unjust police officers" who may serve a prison sentence for breaking the law, but that it is a "sad day for states." United and American justice. " System, "according to a video from the Chicago Sun-Times.
On Thursday, Cook County Associate Justice Domenica Stephenson acquitted three Chicago police officers, Thomas Gaffney, Joseph Walsh and David March, who were accused of trying to cover up the shooting in 2014.