Police union’s hire of officer charged in murder of Laquan McDonald sparks outrage

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CHICAGO - The Chicago police union’s hiring of the officer charged with the teen's murder has sparked outrage.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President, Dean Angelo, reportedly hired Jason Van Dyke three weeks ago to perform odd jobs at the Union Hall for $12.

Angelo said it is difficult for Van Dyke to find any other job and the union would do the same for any Chicago officer.

The union released a statement Thursday afternoon:

Weeks ago, the FOP reached a decision to assist the Van Dyke family. Due to the notoriety of the incident, the on-going threats of harm and intimidation and other issues caused him to become completely unemployable. Furthermore, after several threats against the safety of his spouse and her clients his wife was forced to shut down her family-run business; resulting in zero household income.

The Fraternal Order of Police has a very long history of assisting Members when they find themselves forced into a no pay status. Over the course of 30-plus years representing Chicago Police Officers, both internal as well as external employment opportunities have been successfully extended to several dozen of our Members. This is not a precedent setting employment issue.

Although there has been some lambasting and uninformative accusations tossed about and directed against the Lodge 7 for offering emergency employment as a means of support; the decision was based on the sustenance needs of a Police Officer and his family. It is the Lodge’s duty and responsibility to look into offering every Member these same benefits if/when the next Officer finds his or herself in a similar circumstance.

For anyone to believe that the Lodge entered into this arrangement without consideration and forethought is improper and short sighted. Accuracy under these circumstances is paramount to truly grasping the significance to the decision made.

Van Dyke is currently suspended from the police department.

He is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

Community leaders and activists are outraged at the union's decision.  Several gathered Thursday to protest the hiring.