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laquan mcdonald

Preview Of The Jason Van Dyke Trial

Jason Van Dyke's trial date has been set to begin on September 5. Any chance of the trial being moved out of the state? Is there an incentive to plead the case out? Are both sides conscience of the backdrop of the trial in the Chicago’s mayoral election? Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, joins Dan and Amy to preview the trial.

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Reaction to Rahm Should be Peaceful, but Not Calm

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A special Op-Ed from Illinois State Rep. Peter Breen A few weeks ago, the nation watched the video of a police officer firing 16 shots at Laquan McDonald, a young black man, armed with only a small knife and walking away from police. Two of those shots were fired at McDonald while he was standing, with the remainder ripping through his body after he fell to the pavement.

None of the at least five other officers on the scene attempted medical assistance for the young man as he lay on the ground. Witnesses were “shooed away” from the scene, without their contact information even being taken. Numerous other police vehicles were on scene, but none of their dashboard video or audio has been released—and may have been destroyed. Even the security video from the local Burger King, which officers demanded password access to in the aftermath of the shooting, has a void in its footage during the critical time of the shooting.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in the midst of a tough re-election campaign in October 2014, desperately needing the support of the City Council’s Black Caucus to defeat his Latino challenger. As details slowly emerged from whistleblowers about the shooting, the City steadfastly refused to release the video. Once the Mayor—and those who supported him—were clear of the April 2015 election, the City Council agreed to pay the family of the young man $5 million, with the further caveat that the video not be released. But an independent reporter sued and, over a year after the shooting, finally forced the City to release the footage.

This video would’ve made national news, whenever it was released. But for the people of Chicago and of Illinois, it’s not merely the killing but the cover-up that has shaken us. This incident has laid bare how far our elected officials will go to protect the established political power structure in our state.

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State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was informed of the relevant facts and had the video much earlier, but decided to charge the officer involved 13 months later, only after she knew that the video would be released. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office dragged its feet on enforcing the Freedom of Information Act against the City of Chicago to release of the video, even allowing the City to violate Illinois law in thwarting the legal review process under the Act. And when Madigan’s office did finally issue a decision, it was issued as “non-binding,” which against the City of Chicago, meant the decision was not worth the paper it was printed on.

Mayor Emanuel has now fired the police superintendent and is trying to focus the attention on State’s Attorney Alvarez, who is up for re-election in March 2016. However, it’s reported that Speaker Mike Madigan will support Alvarez in the next election, so as to shore up his Latino and suburban Cook County vote.

In any other structure, whether public or private, you’d fire every single person involved and start over. But not in Illinois. At least not up to this point in Illinois.

Fortunately, the people are outraged. The press is on the attack. Some have urged “calm” in the wake of this video, but that’s not quite right. Peaceful, yes, but we should not be “calm.” Any person with a conscience and a sense of right and wrong should be furious about this entire situation: both the tragic unnecessary killing of a human being, and the deep corruption of a political system to the point that people will do anything to protect their power and elective offices.

Moreover, this outrage isn’t—and shouldn’t be—limited to folks in the City of Chicago. The same people who covered up the killing of Laquan McDonald hold vast influence over our entire state and its politics. The way forward from here will not be driven by calm, but by that special sort of righteous anger that drives positive change: the type of feeling and thought which throughout history has inspired political movements and revivals.

We have a long road ahead to turn Illinois around, but it starts with a people who are disgusted by the status quo and ready for a new way.

Peter Breen is a State Representative for Illinois’ 48th House District. He also serves as a public interest lawyer with the Thomas More Society, specializing in defense of free speech and religious liberty rights.

Dan Proft & Michael Lucci, VP of Policy, The Illinois Policy Institute

On this edition of “Illinois Rising”, Dan Proft and Michael Lucci, VP of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute, discuss the looming CTU Strike, the call for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign, Illinois’ 32-day waiting period to get a business license - the worst wait time in the country, and more.

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Dan Proft & Amy Jacobson Interview Dan Herbert and Bob Milan

Dan Herbert, defense attorney for Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, joined Chicago's Morning Answer to make the case that Van Dyke reasonably feared for his life and his shooting of Laquan McDonald was justified under the law.

Former Cook County State's Attorney's Office First Assistant Bob Milan joined us to discuss the series of police-involved shootings Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has bungled, in his view, and offered his take on the specifics of the Laquan McDonald case. Milan doesn't mince words.

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Dan Proft & Maze Jackson

On this edition of Against The Current, Dan Proft sits down with Chicago Defender Political Editor and WVON Radio political commentator Maze Jackson to discuss race and politics and racial politics in Chicago and on college campuses. The two review the Laquan McDonald case in the context of the Chicago political power structure (that extends to Springfield). Which heads should roll? What should be done? Who is/is not representing the black community at present? Should Dan Proft be a creative consultant to #BlackLivesMatter? And might Maze Jackson be the first entrant into the 2019 mayoral race? Get all the answers on this installment of ATC.

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Dan Proft & John Tillman

On this edition of “Illinois Rising”, Dan Proft and John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, discuss Chicago’s handling of the Laquan McDonalds police shooting video, how California Teachers are fighting back against forced unionization, “suicidal” property taxes and the collapse of Chicago’s South Suburbs, a recent poll that found 66 percent of Illinois voters are in favor of spending cuts, and Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s plan to implement a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new government employees.

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An Upstream Idea: Laquan McDonald

Dan Proft presents “An Upstream Idea”. With the release of the dash cam video for Laquan McDonald, it is clear that with the Chicago Democrat power structure, justice is delayed so that political ambitions are not denied.

"16 shots!"

That is the chant of those protesting the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the hands of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

They have a point but it's not the most important one.

If it is system change they seek beyond justice in the McDonald case, they should be chanting, "13 months!"

13 months is how long it took from the night of McDonald's death to the day of Van Dyke's indictment.

Were it not for a few seconds of video from a dash cam and a judge's decision to make that video public, you can be sure we would still be waiting for a dispensation of the case.

With the Chicago Democrat power structure, justice is delayed so that political ambitions are not denied.

The McDonald shooting occurred six weeks after Ferguson and four months before Rahm's re-elect.

The investigation was slow-walked.

Then came the hush money in the form of a preemptive $5 million check from the city to the McDonald family, a highly unusual move since no lawsuit had been filed, predicated on an agreement not to release the dash cam video.

But an independent journalist wouldn't play along. So Rahm's professional stonewallers battled a journalist's FOIA request for the video even though they knew it was a public record just as is a police report or a mugshot.

Then it was Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's turn to dither as her re-election cycle, including a March primary challenge, was in the offing.

And every step of the way the panoply of Chicago Democrat pols and their corporate financiers spanning the racial spectrum were silent in support of Rahm.

Keep that in mind when you see the aldermanic feudal lords, the Mike Madigan roll call reps, and the cash-and-carry storefront ministers expressing outrage now that it is politically safe to do so.

Cops protecting cops is the myopic view of the last 13 months.

The discerning observer sees this properly as a textbook case of the Chicago Democrat power structure protecting the Chicago Democrat power structure.

This is not a conspiracy.

It is simply the Chicago political culture where it is the rule of men not the rule of law.

It is simply the Chicago political culture where people's lives are important only insofar as they may be means to the political ends of the Chicago Democrat power structure.

Perhaps instead of organizing another conference for speechifying, another candlelight vigil for praying or another protest for chanting, now is the time to distribute petitions for recalling.

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