* That’s definitely one way of looking at it…
* The Cook County judge in the Jason Van Dyke case regarding the killing of Laquan McDonald was a Vietnam veteran who was apparently suffering from severe PTSD. In 1970, he was living with his parents while attending law school. Steve Bogira at the Chicago Reader explains what happened next…
At 3 AM the following morning [after a traffic accident scuffle], the couple next door was awakened by gunfire. Two bullets had shattered their bedroom window and pierced the wall above their bed, according to [Bill Mullen’s Tribune] story. The couple ran from the bedroom, and the husband, Darius Latchin, called police. When two officers arrived at the home, Latchin showed them into his dining room. He was talking with them when two more shots came through a window, narrowly missing the officers.
Police soon determined that the gunfire had come from the third floor of the Gaughan home (Mullen’s story doesn’t explain how), and officers swarmed on the home. Gaughan called down the stairway, saying he wanted to talk with Father John Richardson—a priest at DePaul and a friend of his. Richardson, who was DePaul’s vice president, was soon in Gaughan’s foyer, discussing the situation with sergeant Charles Adamson and other officers. According to Mullen’s Tribune story, Richardson told the officers he knew Gaughan well, and that “he won’t hurt me.”
As the priest started up the stairs, Gaughan called down: “Wait—I want a policeman to come too. An Irish sergeant.”
“That broke the tension,” Mullen wrote. “The policemen smiled, and the guns went down.” Adamson said he was Irish, and volunteered to accompany Richardson upstairs.
Inside his bedroom Gaughan laid down the M1 rifle he’d fired. “He came downstairs and outside with Father Richardson, where both got into a squadrol,” Mullen wrote. Gaughan’s father asked to go to the station too, and an officer “put his arm on the old man’s shoulder” and offered to take him in his squad car.
Mullen reported that Gaughan was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful use of a weapon, failure to register a weapon, and discharging a firearm in the city. But there was a warm and uplifting tone to the story nonetheless. Police had worked to calm Gaughan and had responded with restraint—extraordinary restraint, if indeed four people, two of them police officers, had nearly been shot. The officers called to the scene hadn’t tried to chase Gaughan from his room with tear gas, which could have led to a deadly shootout on the stairway.
I wondered if the fact that Gaughan was white and a war hero had played a role in this patient response. Gaughan had been armed with a rifle that had a range of 500 yards. (Laquan McDonald had a folding knife with a three-inch blade.) A perilous threat had been mitigated, and no one had been harmed.
Go read the rest.
* Four more jurors — including first African-American — picked in Van Dyke’s trial for shooting Laquan McDonald
* Live Blog: 2nd Day of Jury Selection Underway in Jason Van Dyke Trial
* Feder: Van Dyke trial to air on CLTV: WGN reporter Julie Unruh will lead the station’s coverage, starting with opening statements by the prosecution and defense through the conclusion of the trial. Jury selection is currently underway. CLTV is carried on Comcast Xfinity Channels 352/1091, RCN Channel 616 and Mediacom Channel 215.