Jason Van Dyke — the white Chicago cop charged with murder after firing 16 shots into a knife-wielding black teenager in 2014 — works for the Fraternal Order of Police, the union president confirmed Wednesday night.
WFLD-Channel 32 first reported Wednesday night that Van Dyke was working at the FOP hall in the West Loop because he couldn’t find another job.
The fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald prompted a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Chicago Police Department — and the city’s release of a video of the shooting in November led to the firing of police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Dec. 1.
Dean Angelo, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he decided to hire Van Dyke after receiving a call from the Chicago Sun-Times several weeks ago asking whether the officer was working for the union.
At the time, Angelo said that Van Dyke wasn’t working for the FOP. The Sun-Times made the inquiry after hearing from former FOP officials who thought Van Dyke was working for the union and were opposed to the arrangement.
On Wednesday night, Angelo said he then considered the idea and decided to give Van Dyke a job.
Van Dyke, who is stripped of his police powers and is on unpaid status, makes $12 an hour from the FOP — slightly above what a typical unarmed security guard is paid — to be a jack-of-all-trades for the union.
“He might be on the roof, he might be in the office, he does anything we need,” Angelo said.
Angelo said it’s not unprecedented.
“We’ve probably had 100 people in no-pay status who we got jobs or hired at the hall. This is nothing new,” he said.
Angelo said one of those officers was Serena Daniels, who was stripped of her police powers and was eventually fired after fatally shooting LaTanya Haggerty, an unarmed passenger in a car, in 1999.
The FOP’s move drew quick criticism and sparked promises of protests.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger blasted the move, saying in part on a Facebook post: “The Police Union says to Chicago we don’t give a Damn what he did or what you think he is one of ours, and we are going to take care of him . . . ”
The post was shared by more than 1,000 people by early Thursday morning.