CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of Laquan McDonald called a news conference on the eve of the Jason Van Dyke murder trial, asking the public not to protest if Van Dyke is acquitted. Laquan McDonald’s family also reacted to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s announcement that he will not be running for re-election.
Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke nearly four years ago. Van Dyke fired 16 shots that killed the 17-year-old. Officer Jason Van Dyke is expected to go on trial starting Wednesday on six counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery, and one count of official misconduct.
“We’re asking for complete peace. I don’t want to see protests, period,” said Rev. Marvin Hunter, the great uncle of Laquan McDonald. “I’m concerned about riots and violence.”
On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he is not running for re-election.
When asked about their reaction to the fact that the mayor is not going to run for reelection, Laquan McDonald’s family took a moment to think about their answer to the question, who they say never called after the shooting.
“I’ve never received condolences from the mayor. In fact, he never even alluded to the fact that I’m his great uncle of Laquan,” said Hunter. “There has to be something that brought him to the reality that this city can’t afford to have him as mayor. Maybe he decided to be the bigger person and allow the city to get the leadership that it needs to grow and be the world class city that it is.”
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker asked Hunter if he thinks Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to not run has anything to do with the shooting of Laquan, referring to an accusation the mayor knew about the Laquan video long before it was released to the public.
“It came from the covering up of the crime of Laquan McDonald, as well. Sometimes the cover-up dictates the outcome. That’s the best way I can answer that,” Hunter responded.
Critics accused Emanuel of knowing about the video shortly after the shooting, but blocking its public release to protect his reelection in 2015.