CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police are monitoring social media to see where protests could spring up as they prepare for the sentencing hearing in the case of former police officer Jason Van Dyke and the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
“We’ve been fighting for justice for Laquan for four years,” activist William Calloway said. “I don’t agree with the judge Stephenson’s ruling.”
“We’ll be down here tomorrow and give our message what is our response to this verdict,” activist Paul McKinley said.
A judge’s ruling Thursday arguably muted part of the chant, “16 shots and a cover-up,” which accompanied Laquan McDonald protests. The 17-year-old was shot 16 times in 2014.
Three Chicago police officers were acquitted from conspiracy charges in the aftermath Thursday.
“I think we’ve got to chant it much louder now,” Father Michael Pfleger said. “If we don’t see a strong sentencing come down tomorrow then there needs to be a massive response in this city.”
Pfleger says he and other activists are watching and waiting for the sentencing of Jason Van Dyke.
During a police meeting Thursday evening, Chicago police said they are expecting demonstrations at the courthouse, saying they are not increasing security there but are asking plain clothed officer to instead be in uniform.
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Pfleger said. “I’m looking for 60, 70, 80 years.”
Pfleger says short of that penalty a unified action needs to be taken, but he would not go into detail other than the potential length of a protest.
“I think it’s going to be more than a one day thing,” he said. “I’m a personal believer in a massive economic boycott that shuts the city down.”
Pfleger says he’s heard rumblings of students boycotting school Friday, but he’s not in favor of that if true.
CBS 2 reached out to Chicago Public Schools for comment but received no reply.