No one should be above the law and no one should beneath its protection. Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez only filed charges against Officer Van Dyke in a shooting of a young black male after a court had ordered the release of the dash cam video.


A whole year went by before the charges were filed against Officer Van Dyke for shooting  Laquan McDonald. Cases are filed against civilians in a matter of hours, often in haste for the sake of public safety.  Alvarez lost credibility by waiting a whole year before filing charges against a police officer. In a case where the video made clear that McDonald was repeatedly shot from a distance (16 times), it is disheartening to believe that justice should be delayed for a whole year.  In the video, McDonald does not pose a threat to the officers although he is holding a knife. He is shot repeatedly while lying prone on the ground. No one comes to his aid after he is shot and he is left alone on the street to die. No one attempts to render aid.

To see the video, click below.

How can one have faith in the prosecutor to uphold the law if it seems that  she only acts because of the imminent release of the video? Why didn’t she file charges six months ago?  Why doesn’t she have the courage to say that this shooting was unjustified until now?  Did it really take a year to decide that they had a case?

There is no good answer to these questions, and it should leave all of us with a lack of confidence that black lives matter.