Officer Jason Van Dyke: Man Down

From Chicago Policeman to Ty-D-Bowl Man

By Ken Hare

Chicago Defender Staff Writer

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Former Chicago Police Officer, Jason Van Dyke, is learning the hard way that life is not only cruel at times, it can be downright ironic. Just yesterday it was reported by the Sun-Times that Van Dyke has been hired as a janitor for the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the policeman’s union. At $12 an hour, Van Dyke reportedly is the “jack-of-all-trades” according to a communique from the FOP.

The Union, once again has stepped up to support one of their own “..because he has become completely unemployable resulting in zero household income,” and “he has been turned down for all other jobs,” according to media sources. Community activist planned impromtu demonstrations outside the FOP’s headquarters yesterday and more are planned in the coming days. “This is not the right message you should be sending to Chicago residents,” said Ja’mal Green, community activist, in a Channel 5 interview.

Gary Snow, a supporter of Jason Van Dyke, argued with demonstrators that the FOP did the right thing when they hired Van Dyke. The FOP furthered that this is not the first time that they have offered assistance to its members that find themselves in forced “no pay” situations. Officer Van Dyke, who has been charged with shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, his case is still going through pre-trial motions at the Cook County Criminal Court.

Just last week, his legal team requested that he not be required to attend any future court hearings due to the numerous death threats he has received; in addition to requesting a change of venue back in January. What Van Dyke has had to learn the hard way is that having a badge and carrying a gun comes with and a huge price; particularly, if you take someone’s life.

“Its ironic,” says Bronzeville resident Shaidah Shareef “the only jobs for some Blacks during the migration from the South were as maids and janitors. Now look at him. He’s gone from cleaning up crime to cleaning toilets.”

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