Chicago – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Jason Van Dyke received a sentence of 81 months for his 2018 conviction of the murder of Laquan McDonald:

“Jason Van Dyke’s sentence only further exposes the injustice that is inherent in our criminal justice system.

“The biggest issue with this sentence is the double standard. Had Van Dyke been someone different – for example, a young black person – he’d have gotten a much longer, much harsher sentence, but because he has the privilege of being a white police officer, he has gotten a slap on the wrist.

“That issue never really gets addressed. Whenever an officer avoids consequences of killing an unarmed black person, there’s outrage, but we should not limit the outrage to days when the wrongful killing of a black person is met with indifference in court. We must be outraged and maintain our outrage at the system and the double standard that exists to allow the lack of consequences in the first place.

“As we approach Martin Luther King Day, I am reminded of one of his most poignant quotes: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ We need to address this injustice, this double standard, if we ever hope to deliver true justice to whomever inevitably becomes the next Laquan McDonald.”