Remember the elation that some people made a point of showing that day, marching through the streets of downtown Chicago to literally make it clear they were ecstatic at the thought that a white cop was off to prison.
IN THEIR WILDEST fantasies for something close to a life prison term. Something that would show what an outrage it was that he thought he could claim self-defense and “just doing his job” to justify the multiple gunshots he fired at a teenage boy – one who happened to be black.
Some went so far as to claim it was evidence that “justice” had been served against a “killer cop.”
While others, I’m sure, sat and stewed at the very thought that a police officer was being punished for doing his job – which on occasion requires use of physical force.
That was then. This is now!
FOR THE SUPREME Court of Illinois came down with a ruling Tuesday that I’m sure will infuriate the masses who were marching in the streets last year.
Basically, they backed up the way that Judge Vincent Gaughan handled the sentencing. Which basically was to give him a light prison term on the second-degree murder conviction, while ignoring all the aggravated battery charges that the jury piled on to their decision.
Those charges, all 16 – one for each pistol shot Van Dyke fired at his youthful assailant, were the ones that were supposed to add up to so much prison time that we’d literally have Van Dyke agonizing at the thought of decade upon decade in prison before finally dying.
Except, perhaps, for those ghoulish types whose idea of humor would be to have Van Dyke use a bed sheet to hang himself in his cell.
THAT DOESN’T SEEM in the cards.
For the Supreme Court rejected a request by the Illinois Attorney General’s office to reject the just-over-six-year prison term that Gaughan handed down.
They wanted the almighty Supreme Court to force Gaughan to resentence him in a way that would be more in keeping for those who want to see Van Dyke killed like a killer cop. Which now just ain’t a gonna happen!
The reality is that while I’m sure there are still legal motions that could be attempted on the off-hopes that a law clerk might be swayed enough to tell his judge to consider the merits of such an appeal, the point is they’re going to be long-shots.
WE MAY HAVE to accept the fact that the legal merits of the Van Dyke case are resolved. Now it’s just a matter of Van Dyke “doing” his time – which with time off for good behavior will come to about three years. He’s going to have something resembling a life left after he is released.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the separation will turn out to be too much for the Van Dyke family – which may well be permanently fractured. That is something we will have to wait and see for ourselves.
I’m also sure that Van Dyke, now being held in a prison facility in upstate New York himself will think he’s suffering amply – his case is so notorious there isn’t a prison facility in Illinois capable of holding him without constant repeats of that beating incident while in a cell in Danbury, Ct., got national notoriety.
While others, I’m sure, will forevermore claim his fate is still better than the one Laquan McDonald suffered – an eternal rest in death at a Forest Park cemetery. A suburb whose residents likely would have freaked out and called for the cops if the teenager had ever set foot there while alive.