police shooting

Van Dyke Assaulted In Prison

Jason Van Dyke’s wife speaks out after her husband was beaten up in prison in Connecticut by other inmates. His family wants Pritzker to commute his sentence to avoid further attacks, while AG Kwame Raoul wants a longer sentence. Dan and Amy discuss.

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Van Dyke Sentenced To 81 Months

Is Van Dyke’s defense team satisfied with the sentence? Did the Judge make the right call? How big of a role did racial politics play in this case? What were the mayoral candidates responses and how do they think they are going to make police/community relations better? Jason Van Dyke’s defense attorney, Dan Herbert joins Dan and Amy to discuss the sentencing.

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Did Van Dyke Go To Jail For Doing His Job?

In the four years between the MacDonald shooting and Van Dyke’s conviction, there have been 2,500 murders, and more than 11,000 people shot and wounded in Chicago. What's the future of policing in Chicago? What about Trump’s idea to reinstate stop and frisk? Did Tiny Dancer buy the silence of black Alderman in exchange for campaign cash payoffs during his election runoff? Chicago FOP President, Kevin Graham joins Dan and Amy to discuss the Van Dyke verdict. 

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Van Dyke Prosecutor: Tragedies All Around

Did the end of the Van Dyke trial mark a new beginning for Chicago? Will the implications of this case extend beyond Chicago? How did the jury conclude that none of the 16 shots were lawful? Could Van Dyke face as few as six years? Kane County State’s Attorney and special prosecutor in the Van Dyke trial, Joe McMahon joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Van Dyke’s Attorney: “Wouldn’t Change A Thing”

Does the defense regret putting Van Dyke on the stand? Will the verdict lead to the Ferguson effect in Chicago? Are police officers now security guards? How does Van Dyke explain why no other officers fired their weapons on the scene? Van Dyke’s Defense Attorney, Dan Herbert joins Dan and Amy to discuss the verdict.

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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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A Great Police Officer, Dad And Husband

A vigil was held last night for Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer who lost his life in the line of duty this week. Commander Bauer leaves behind a wife and a 13-year-old daughter. The 100 Club of Chicago is a nonprofit that provides financial support to the families of fallen officers. Executive Director of The 100 Club of Chicago, Joe Ahern joins Dan and Amy to give an update on Commander Bauer’s family and how you can help. Visit 100clubchicago.org to learn more about the organization and how to donate.

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Trump’s Watershed Moment

What could be a watershed moment in Donald Trump’s campaign was not his statement of contrition for his all-too-often juvenile, ad hominem forays.

Rather, it was his explicit appeal to black families in Milwaukee and across the country whose lives have been decimated by predatory big government policies that foster dependency.

“I am asking for the vote of every African-American citizen struggling in our country today who wants a different future,” said Trump.

Red Rover-ing people over is the beginning. If you want people to come to your party, you have to invite them.

And if you want people to stay, you have to frame the choice before them.

Trump did exactly that in properly referencing the bigoted policies of the Left designed to create a would-be ruled beholden to would-be rulers.

Trump argued that the purposeful deprivation of the Great Society is directly responsible for the need to Make America Great Again.

Hillary and her comrades know that the most assured way to turn someone into a reliable Democrat voter is to make them a de facto ward of the state.

Thus, the choice in our urban centers: live an independent life or exist as a subservient Democrat.

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FOP's Dean Angelo Responds To Paul O'Neal Police Videos

Chicago FOP President Dean Angelo joined Dan & Amy to discuss the police videos related to the police-involved shooting death of Paul O'Neal.

Angelo said he was concerned that the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) was prejudging the case.

Earlier this year, in an interview for Against The Current, Angelo predicted Chicago would experience a bloody summer given the current climate in which police must operate. Chicago just finished the deadliest July in a decade.

View full transcript

DAN PROFT: Good morning. What is up? Dan and Amy; this bit of breaking news, according to the hill and a couple of other outlets. AMY JACOBSON: Yeah. DAN PROFT: A man named Evan McMullen, who is a former CIA Operative and the current Chief Policy Director of the House Republican conference, expected to announce an independent presidential bid today. AMY JACOBSON: What? DAN PROFT: He's going to try to get on 20 to 30 State ballots and his candidacy is specifically focused on stopping Donald Trump. AMY JACOBSON: Yeah well good luck with that. Haven't others tried that before who thought about that? David French... DAN PROFT: We'll have more on that story but this individual is apparently actually doing it. We'll have more on that story but want to return to the issue of the Paul O’Neal shooting since those nine videos were released on Friday: four Body-cam videos, five Dash- cam videos. This is again the 18-year-old black kid, steals a Jaguar, speeding up and down the streets, side swipes one police car that he's coming at head-on which results in one of the officers in that car opening fire and then crashes head-on into another police cruiser and then leaves you know, exits the vehicle that precipitates a chase. He's ultimately shot and killed by Chicago Police. Michael Oppenheimer, the plaintiff's attorney for the O’Neal family had this to say: "These police officers decided to play judge, jury, and executioner." Now you expect a little overheated rhetoric from a plaintiff's attorney but that does not square with what you see on those videos in my estimation. AMY JACOBSON: No in the videos this guy, O’Neal used his vehicle as a weapon. He was trying in my estimation, to run down the police officers and kill them and they fired shots back and there was, like the fog of War, what happened and after the shooting the body cameras picked up this: "No the shots were coming at us when the car was coming at us. That’s-all I heard was shots. I don't know if they fired or not, we came head on. I took off this way, he was coming over this way and when I approached this way, I didn't know if he was armed or not." And that was an officer. DAN PROFT: And so police chief Eddie Johnson said, at a news conference over the weekend : "A lot of people are upset by what they saw, quite honestly they have a right to be upset," which was interesting and the head of the Independent Police Review Authority, Sharon Fairley, said she found the video "shocking and disturbing." So a little bit of judge, jury and executioner from the police department and IRPA side. For more on this, we're happy to be joined by our friend Dean Angelo Senior. He's of course the president of Chicago FOP Lodge 7. Dean thanks for joining us, appreciate it. DEAN ANGELO: You're welcome, good morning. DAN PROFT: So why don't we start with the reactions before we get into the details of the incident at least as memorialized on those videos. What is your response to the quick response or the judgmental response from Chief Johnson as well as the Independent Police Review Authority? DEAN ANGELO: Well, I'll start with the IPRA-those kind of comments coming from someone who is supposed to be doing a fair and impartial and unbiased investigation, right at the onset is a little concerning; and it's part of what I've been talking about for months now, that you have a civilian organization investigating police-involved incidents that don't have the wherewithal to do that or to do so because any investigator involved in police work would never make statements about an investigation that is just beginning, like, say the ones that were made the other day. That's completely unacceptable and another example of how they just don't have a handle on this. AMY JACOBSON: I know it's early in the investigation but do you think those three officers felt that their life was in jeopardy, that's the reason why they shot at Paul O'Neal? DEAN ANGELO: Well it's hard to put yourself in the mindset of the police officers. When they're there you can see the event unfold, it happens in a matter of moments. The reactions that were done were done by individuals that were in a heightened sense of anxiety and a heightened sense of fear that something was about to happen and when you have a situation of this nature, and the policy was changed out of Garry McCarthy, so there's a couple of different issues at hand: we have administrative issues and then we have the incident that resulted in the death of O'Neal. So there's a lot of aspects of this investigation that have to be put together and it's very early right now at this stage. DAN PROFT: But what about this matter of the opening fire, the one officer opened fire, this against the new protocol of not shooting into or at moving vehicles if that's the only weapon that the assailant is using. Now there is a kind of an out. We talked to a criminal defence during last hour who made the point- there's sort of an out that, kind of- you still are allowed to take reasonable precautions and protection of your life. So it seems to me that this is going to be the critical issue in terms of litigating this or investigating it at the IRPA level because the shots that were fired by the first officer at the first car that the assailant came upon, created confusion as to who was firing with officers down the block. DEAN ANGELO: Well the officers that were coming down the block, they were eventually hit head on, had the fear that they were being fired at and they were under the assumption I believe, that the offending vehicle was the one where the shots were coming from. Now I've not seen any case reports, I have not interviewed anybody in this process at this stage so it's very difficult to put yourself in those shoes when these things come out and occur so quickly and we're waiting on further discussion and further discovery and the lawyer you mentioned- the family's attorney, some of the statements he had made prior to even seeing the video were completely inaccurate and some of the statements he's made since, have been extremely accusatory, that there was a conspiracy and that the cameras were shut off on purpose. It's such a far reach but I guess when you can say what you want in certain situations now in Chicago and not be held accountable. AMY JACOBSON: Well the truth of the matter is that we recently received those body cameras- what a week ago? DEAN ANGELO: Right, so I think that one of the officers that were involved although, I believe the one with the camera that wasn't capturing anything during the incident had the camera for about four days and there's a lot of training involved as far as-when it's recording, when it's not recording but also when you are to engage it, when you're not to engage it but then you have to add the heightened stress of this situation on top of everything else. You know when you think you're going to-or you're taking fire and now you're involved in a four-chase and your mindset has to break from that to activate the camera. You know with four days of wearing that device is kind of a far reach in and of itself as well. DAN PROFT: Yeah and we sat down and did an interview for or against the current series on upstream- ideas.com a couple months ago and you said "Get ready for a bloody summer and your prediction, unfortunately, has come true- July, the bloodiest July in a decade. And then we hear, after the shooting and after the suspect had been arrested while awaiting the paramedics, the officers at the scene are talking to one another and the Officer, Ortiz I believe is his name, who apparently shot Mr. O'Neal says: " I hope the guy is going to be alright. I'm going to get crucified." And it seems to me that was a real insight into the mentality that police have in the climate in which they operate. DEAN ANGELO: Well, we have individuals that are involved in doing police work that get stripped of their police powers and their just performing their job. It might not look good on camera but you're taking action that saves your partner or you're taking actions that you perceive to be the proper actions at the time. No-one wants to come on this job or the course of their career and ever fired a weapon yet alone take someone's life. It's extremely difficult for any human being to be involved in that and people forget that because these individuals, these women and men are wearing a blue shirt and I think that's lost on a lot of what's going on right now. It's not your intention to leave your home, go to work and then engage in deadly force. It's not what someone does and have that in their mindset but it's something that you always have to be prepared for and generally, it's based on the actions of the individual that's involved on the other end of these incidents. AMY JACOBSON: Now Dean, do you fear that these three officers will be charged criminally? DEAN ANGELO: No I don't think so. At this stage it's early to tell but it is 2016 in Chicago and we don't know, what to expect. I don't think there was criminal intent in the mindset of any of these individuals. I think that we have a situation, tragic as it was, that will be investigated. If it's investigated based on what occurred, once the evidence comes out and once the statements are considered, I don't think that there's any criminal charges that are available. But again, it is 2016 in the city of Chicago and I wouldn't be surprised what can happen but we're going to be watching this and we have individuals involved with these officers right now talking to them and we'll see what happens. DAN PROFT: One of the comments that was made by Officer Ortiz when he got into the ambulance was rather remarkable and it's kind of been underreported, but he's talking to paramedics and saying: "Where do you want to go- and it's UFC or Christ hospital," and the paramedic says, "Well they don't like police at Christ hospital, they're going to make you wait in the waiting room so why don't we take you to UFC." The idea that there is a hospital in the city of Chicago that has an antagonistic posture towards police as it pertains to providing medical attention, kind of a remarkable statement for a paramedic to make, don't you think? DEAN ANGELO: Well, and the paramedics know, they're in and out of those... [Crosstalk DAN PROFT: I know. ] DEAN ANGELO: ...units or emergency rooms at a regular basis they know everybody and, does it surprise me? No. It is where we are at right now, you know the police have been vilified and it's gone to the emergency rooms. We generally have an amazing relationship with nurses and emergency room personnel so it's kind of sad that's where we're at with that institution. But the paramedic would not have made that type of statement if he didn't have some sort of substance to back it up. DAN PROFT: Well I know. That's the frightening part of it. One on national question before we let you go. Over the weekend the National Fraternal Order of Police, the organization you head up in Chicago, found out that Hillary Clinton is not going to seek that Union's endorsement and Chuck Canterbury, the national FOP president said “It sends a powerful message. To be honest with you I was disappointed and shocked." Do you have any reaction to Hillary Clinton deciding not to seek the FOP endorsement? DEAN ANGELO: Well from what I understand, we've known of this for a couple weeks now. And we're waiting for the national to come out and say something about it but because it is a national process it goes to the national organization. It's their responsibility to reach out and submit a multiple questionnaire for the Presidential Candidates to complete so that they could share that with their Political Committee and then to the memberships throughout the different states and consider an endorsement and I guess Mr. Trump completed his and Mrs. Clinton did not and for what I remember by the release that was submitted to us, was that multiple attempts were made to her camp to get the questionnaire completed so that they could submit it to the committee for review and the time frame came and left and it basically fell on deaf ears and then we were told that in fact they were not going to complete the questionnaire and that's where we're at right now. DAN PROFT: Yeah they have other people completing that 'black lives matter questionnaire'. Dean Angelo Senior, President of FOP, Lodge 7 in Chicago. Dean thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it. DEAN ANGELO: You're welcome. Thank you.

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How To (Really) Achieve The 'Important Conversation'

"The problem is not "extremism on all sides." This is another phrase stripped of all meaning through repeated misuse"

This commentary originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune on 7/11/16.

By, Dan Proft

We need to come together as a community to unify so we can have the important conversation required to begin the healing.

Is there anything more vapid than a politician's patois in the aftermath of an act of evil? Even if no politician has said that exact sentence, it's a too-familiar message.

Rather than confronting the evil that culminated with the murders of five police officers Thursday in Dallas, the public discourse is polluted by cable news anchor-bots and their pabulum-puking pundits with banal obsessing about the acceptable parameters of the "important conversation" that never actually materializes.

Instead of dialogue, let me offer this monologue.

I am not a victim because I'm white and some lunatic in Dallas wanted to (and did) kill white people.

The Dallas murders are not a proxy for the state of race relations in America.

The Dallas murders do not represent an "epidemic" of hate, hate crimes or blacks targeting whites.

There is plenty of intellectual room between "cops can do no wrong" and "cops are all racists waging war against minorities." The reasoned room in between is occupied by most of the Americans who are not on television, radio or Twitter.

White police officers keep black families safe. Black police officers keep white families safe.

Blacks mourn the deaths of white officers. Whites mourn the deaths of black officers. And we all, including police officers, mourn the deaths of those wrongly killed by police. One-third of Chicago's roughly 12,000-person police force is black. Do you think they care about Walter Scott being shot in the back in South Carolina or Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times? I suspect they do.

Police officers should be held to a higher standard than civilians with respect to the use of force — but not to an unhuman standard. Police have the task of de-escalating confrontations. But civilians can help. A little compliance goes a long way to ensure all parties leave a scene with their bodies and rights intact.

The problem is not "extremism on all sides." This is another phrase stripped of all meaning through repeated misuse.

If we are ever to get to a conversation of any consequence, we must dispense with the left-right and black-white binaries and talk of those who use persuasion versus those who employ coercion regardless of the issue to be advanced or the grievance to be remedied.

This is not a fail-safe. People get persuaded to do all kinds of terrible things.

Thus, we must also confront the matter of evil versus righteousness.

This is where we get to the evil that lurks in the hearts of men and spreads to their gray matter. Addressing that which rots our core and subverts our decency is actually where the healing can begin.

The "important conversation" then isn't one of disconnected means and ends but rather of moral clarity about how one legitimately connects means to ends in a civil society.

President Barack Obama said after the Dallas shootings, "America is not as divided as some have suggested."

Despite his best efforts — from his "beer summit" in 2009 forward and for largely different reasons than he suggests (we are not united around your gun control proposals, Mr. President) — he is correct.

We are not as divided.

And we will not be so long as we ignore the professional agitators and the demagogues who decry incendiary rhetoric by using it.

And we will not be so long as we reject identity politics.

And we will not be so long as we dismiss guilt-by-association gambits.

And we will not be so long as we refuse the privation of reason that is required to foment racial discord.

And we will not be so long as we remember how we productively interact with persons who possess different characteristics than us all day, every day.

If we can navigate all of these obstacles and those who erect them, perhaps we can finally have that important conversation.

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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 & 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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