Media make it "impossible for a police officer to get a fair trial": Chicago Fraternal Order of Police
The "anti-police" media kept Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke from having a fair trial, a leader from the Fraternal Order of Police said.
The recent conviction of Van Dyke in the 2014 shooting death of a teenager was another sortie with the "anti-police" news media, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police 2nd Vice President Martin Preib said in an interview with the Chicago City Wire.
"The media in Chicago is fiercely anti-police," Preib said in the telephone interview. "So much so that it's almost impossible for a police officer to get a fair trial in Chicago."
A fair trial is what Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke did not get in his conviction last week of second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, he argues.
"We're very disappointed, we do not feel he got a fair trial, and we are going to appeal," Preib said.
Preib's statement about an appeal echoed comments by Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham the day of Van Dyke's conviction. The court should have granted a defense change of venue request on behalf Van Dyke, Graham said Friday.
Van Dyke was the first Chicago police officer in about half a century to be found guilty of murder in an on-duty shooting. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 31.
Three other Chicago Police officers were indicted by a grand jury in June 2017 in McDonald's death. Officer Thomas Gaffney, former Chicago Police Detective David March and former Police Officer Joseph Walsh face charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice in McDonald's death.
The Van Dyke verdict's impact on Chicago police has been very negative, Preib said. "Morale among city police officers is at an all time low," he said.
However, the verdict did not uncover anything new regarding what police in Chicago face just doing their job, Preib said.
"There's just a war against police in Chicago," he said. "I mean, that precedent was set long ago."
That war has individual officers operating as if no one has their back, Preib said. "People feel like they're going to get fired, disciplined or indicted for doing their job," he said.