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The police officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times has been charged with first-degree murder.


And Chicago is probably still going to protest. Jason Van Dyke, the veteran cop who turned himself in for arraignment Tuesday morning, was the one who unloaded his 9mm Smith & Wesson into the 17-year-old McDonald last October. But it’s the Chicago Police Department that decided to keep Van Dyke on paid desk duty following McDonald’s slaying. It’s the Chicago police officers union that is still attempting to tar McDonald’s character with unsubstantiated allegations that he attacked Van Dyke with a knife and unrelated innuendo about the contents of his bloodstream. (McDonald was found to have PCP in his blood, which is not a capital crime.) It’s the Chicago mayor’s office that fought to prevent the release of the dashcam video of McDonald’s death, and has still yet to comply despite a judge’s order handed down last week.

“One individual needs to be held accountable,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters on Monday. But in a city where illegal police violence has been rampant and the roots of systemic racism run deep, holding one individual accountable may not be enough.