How the Laquan McDonald case changed Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A murder conviction for a Chicago police officer is something journalist Jamie Kalven never imagined four years ago when a law enforcement source tipped him off about the video that would eventually change Chicago forever.

"The changes in our city that were precipitated by the release of the video and other revelations about this incident are immense," said Kalven.

The police dashcam video showed Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. The video was released to the public several months after the shooting.

RELATED: Jason Van Dyke found guilty in shooting of Laquan McDonald

After the video was released, several things happened - Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy was fired, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez was defeated and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not seek re-election.

But, changes went far beyond a change of personnel.

The Department of Justice stepped in and concluded that the Chicago Police Department violated the constitutional rights of residents, specially African-Americans for years.

IPRA was abolished and replaced with a more independent COPA.

The city of Chicago now releases videos of police related shootings within 60 days.

CPD released a new use of force policy, officers get bodycams and Tasers.

One of the biggest outcomes is a consent decree. Moving forward, a judge will enforce police reforms.

"Everything positive that has happened over the past four years has come because citizens have insisted on and pushed for it," Kalven said.

Among those citizens are community activist William Calloway.

Calloway said the verdict and all the changes in the past four year have given the black community a sense of hope, but he says there is unfinished business.

He said the community must hold elected officials accountable and make sure the next Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) contract includes reforms. Calloway believes public pressure can result in police union contract changes.

Kalven says it would help if the FOP would be open to change and be at the table.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented on the verdict for the first time on Monday, saying that the jury did its job, now everyone has a role to play.
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