Police Union Hires Chicago Cop Charged With Murder
Jason Van Dyke is making $12 an hour as a 'jack-of-all-trades'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2016 4:12 PM CDT
Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in 2014.   (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of black teen Laquan McDonald, has a new gig with the police union: janitor. The AP reports Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police hired Van Dyke—who is on unpaid leave from the police department—about three weeks ago. The Chicago Sun-Times describes him as a "jack-of-all-trades" making $12 an hour. “He might be on the roof, he might be in the office, he does anything we need,” union president Dean Angelo says. According to the union, Van Dyke has been unable to hold a job due to bad publicity, and threats forced his wife to close her business. "This officer is in a very difficult situation financially," Angelo tells the AP. "He has a family, and we would do it for anybody that works as a Chicago police officer."

The announcement of Van Dyke's job with the police union on Wednesday sparked immediate criticism, and protesters were outside the Fraternal Order of Police Thursday, NBC Chicago reports. "If I killed someone, I wouldn't get bail," one protester says. "If I killed someone, I don't have a union to make sure that I'm employed." Van Dyke posted bond on $1.5 million bail, which the prosecution was against. The protester calls his hiring by the union a slap in the face to Chicago residents. In a Facebook post, a Catholic priest and social activist calls Van Dyke's hiring a "disgrace" and says "every union member should demand he be fired." Video released last year shows Van Dyke firing 16 shots at the 17-year-old McDonald, who was holding a knife, as McDonald walked away from officers in October 2014.