Writer Tells How He Broke The Laquan McDonald Story

Nov 25, 2015

Chicago writer Jamie Kalven focuses on patterns of police abuse and impunity in Chicago. He heard about an attempted cover up of the details in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old wielding a  knife.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shot McDonald, a black youth, 16 times in 14 seconds.

Thousands of protesters have hit the streets of the city since a dash-cam video of the shooting was released yesterday, when Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.

Kalven, who is part of the Invisible Institute project in Chicago and describes himself as a human rights activist, broke the story for Slate. Once the city settled a $5 million suit with McDonald’s family, major Chicago media outlets picked up the story.

The institute describes itself as a journalistic production company that works to enhance the capacity of civil society to hold public institutions accountable.