2 years after Laquan McDonald’s death, calls for reform continue

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CHICAGO -- Dozens gathered at Chicago police headquarters Thursday night to remember Laquan McDonald.

It was two years ago that 17-year-old McDonald was fatally shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke. Those 16 shots captured on police dashcam video released last November touched a nerve and sparked outrage in Chicago and across the country.

The video was held for over year, and its delayed release raised questions about how the city handled the case. The fallout cost Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy his job and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her reelection bid.

Today the Feds are investigating the Chicago Police Department’s practices and Officer Van Dyke faces murder charges.

Now demonstrators are turning their frustration into action, coming together at several gatherings across Chicago to remember McDonald.

“I’m not standing here to say all police officers are bad, a bad seed and should be persecuted. Absolutely not. But those that are need to be gone,” said Gwendolyn Moore.

In a statement, McDonald’s family said:  "Time has not dulled the pain of this tragic loss to his mother, his sister and the rest of his extended family.

We thank all the people who have honored Laquan’s memory and continue to advocate for police reform.

We look forward to the day when Jason Van Dyke will be held responsible for Laquan’s senseless murder and everyone involved in trying to cover up this criminal act is held accountable."

Much of the anger over McDonald’s death remains directed at Mayor Emanuel, and how the video of the shooting was held as he ran for reelection. Now activists are pushing for a law that would permit the recall of the mayor, aldermen or state’s attorney.

“We’re turning our anger, we’re transitioning our pain into policy into law,” said activist Gregory Livingston.

Mayor Emanuel released a statement, saying "(Laquan McDonald's) death was a wake-up call for our city on an issue that has challenged the city for decades, and brought a renewed commitment to a public conversation about policing and community relations."