Issued October 05, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the verdict in the trial of Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement:
“No matter who we are, where we come from or what our color, we all deserve to live free from the threat of violence at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us. Far too often, families are denied these privileges because of our broken and biased criminal justice system that is enabled by politicians who refuse to take action.
“Today’s guilty verdict gives some hope that the future will be better, but it does not make up for the corruption, discrimination and apathy that has gone unchecked for generations. The unjust shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald should not have happened and the denial of justice that came afterwards was unthinkable.
“This week, working families from Michigan to Pennsylvania, Ohio and beyond went on strike to make it known that voters are demanding better. Today, we join together with communities in Chicago to stand up for a democracy that works for us all, dismantle racist structures, and ensure tragedies like this are no longer tolerated.
“It's time for all of us to get involved and make sure our family and friends are registered to vote. On election day, we will vote for the politicians who support policies that strengthen our communities with major criminal justice reforms and respond to our calls for the right to negotiate in union for a fair return on our work. Together, we can make this a place where freedom and justice is for everyone, no exceptions.”