Chicago officials brief business owners on security plans before Jason Van Dyke's likely release

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
City business owners briefed on security plans before Van Dyke release
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Ahead of Jason Van Dyke's imminent release, Chicago city officials held a security check with concerned business owners to discuss planned protests.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Top security officials in Chicago convened a late-day meeting Wednesday with downtown business officials to discuss concerns about the imminent release of the former Chicago Police Officer who killed Laquan McDonald.

Jason Van Dyke has been hustled away from jail previously, when he bonded out after murder charges were first filed. A similar look is expected Thursday.

RELATED: Jason Van Dyke moved to halfway house, sources say; governor's office says he's in IDOC custody

City officials held a security check on the phone with concerned business owners and downtown stakeholders to discuss planned protests.

There have been protests and demonstrations at various times since the CPD video of Van Dyke was released, showing him firing 16 times on Laquan McDonald, killing the Black teenager who was carrying a knife while walking away from police.

RELATED: Juror who convicted Jason Van Dyke of Laquan McDonald murder surprised at early release

The protests are scheduled for Thursday and Friday in downtown Chicago.

Thursday's 3:30 p.m. demonstration is being held at Federal Plaza because protesters want to deliver a letter to U.S. Attorney John Lausch demanding federal civil rights charges now be brought against Van Dyke. He is being released after serving the required, less than half portion, of his 7-year state sentence for murder.

ALSO SEE: 'Don't let this man out:' Laquan McDonald's grandmother calls for Jason Van Dyke to stay in prison

On the private briefing were Mayor Lori Lightfoot's leading public safety aides, and top Chicago police commanders. They shared intelligence about any possible threat of civil disturbances.

Police on the call told business leaders there are no disruptive demonstrations planned at Federal Plaza or at a possible Friday 10 a.m. protest at City Hall, but there will be a sizable police presence after Van Dyke is freed.

RELATED: Jason Van Dyke trial, Laquan McDonald shooting timeline

The shooting death of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke is a story with ripple effects beyond the court case that follows.