Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement Regarding the Conviction of Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the Shooting Death of Laquan McDonald

Oct 9, 2018
Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT HEADER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Contact: Robin Chand

October 5, 2018                                                                                                   202-228-3816

Press Statement

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement Regarding the Conviction of Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the Shooting Death of Laquan McDonald

 

Jackson Lee – “The criminal justice system has worked its will in the case of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death, but there are many more cases like this.  The sad truth is that there are too many young African American men who are felled at the hands of those entrusted to protect and serve.”

 

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, and a Senior Member of the House Budget Committee, issued this statement following the conviction of Jason Van Dyke for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald:

 

“Today, in a courtroom in Chicago, Illinois, Jason Van Dyke was convicted by a jury of his peers of second-degree murder, for the shooting death of 17-year old Laquan McDonald.  He was also convicted of 16 additional counts of aggravated battery, one count for every bullet that entered young Laquan’s body.  While today’s verdict will not bring Laquan back to his family and friends, his family can take solace that justice has been meted out.  The shooting death of Laquan McDonald galvanized a nation not just because it was the latest in a seeming unending series of shootings of African American men by white police officers, but also because the shooting was caught on a fifteen second dashcam video, thirteen seconds of which showed young Laquan lying on the floor lifeless while he continued to be shot. 

 

“The criminal justice system has worked its will in the case of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death, but there are many more cases like this.  The sad truth is that there are too many young African American men who are felled at the hands of those entrusted to protect and serve.  Regrettably, there are few communities that symbolize the delicate interplay between communities of color and those charged to protect them than Chicago, Illinois.  One manner in which this interplay can be addressed is through the passage of federal police accountability legislation, like the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act which will save lives and help to end the siege of young men of color in communities throughout the country.

 

“The Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of police accountability and building trust between police departments and their communities. Drafted in response to outrages like the 1997 Los Angeles Rampart Division scandal and tragedies such as the 1999 Amadou Diallo shooting (and more recent killings, from Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner and the many in between and since), the legislation provides incentives for local police organizations to voluntarily adopt performance-based standards to ensure that incidents of misconduct will be minimized through appropriate management, training and oversight protocols and that if such incidents do occur, that they will be properly investigated. The legislation also addresses the law enforcement community.  I support law enforcement and I am proud that the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act provides police officers—the vast majority of whom are decent people—with the tools necessary to work with their communities and to enhance their professional growth and education.

 

“As a society we must make our communities safe for all residents.  This ideal requires commitments from members of the community and those charged to protect and serve.  Once that occurs, we can rebuild trust and ensure that all have an opportunity to live up to their fullest potential.”

 

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Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget. She is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.