A small group of protesters chanted and waved signs outside the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Thursday calling for the dismissal of Officer Jason Van Dyke.
The group, numbering eight protesters total, gathered in the morning outside the lodge at 1412 W. Washington Blvd. Another group about twice that size demonstrated in the same spot Thursday evening.
They were furious that Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer charged with the murder of Laquan McDonald, is now working at the FOP.
Dean Angelo, the president of the FOP, told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday night that he decided to hire Van Dyke after receiving a call from the newspaper several weeks ago asking whether the officer was working for the union.
Protester Ja’Mal Green described Angelo’s decision as a “slap in the face” to the city Thursday morning.
“But trust and believe, Dean Angelo, you saw what we did to other politicians. You’ll be run out of town too!” bellowed Green. “Dean Angelo, we want to speak with you!” he shouted from outside the building.
When that didn’t work, the protesters tried to engage the six uniformed Chicago police officers who stood in front of the FOP doors.
“How do you feel, officer?” Green asked one officer. The officer didn’t take the bait, opening his mouth just long enough to say, “No comment.”
A slightly surreal scene unfolded, with the protesters continuing their one-sided conversation just inches from the police officers.
In the evening, protesters taped photos of people who have been killed by Chicago Police to the front door of the FOP lodge before briefly blocking a nearby intersection, shouting their cause to motorists.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church and social activist, posted a statement on FaceBook Thursday criticizing the hiring of Van Dyke.
“For those saying they don’t think the FOP realized how people would react to hiring Van Dyke….I DISAGREE, I think they knew exactly what they were doing,” the statement read. “This was an IN YOUR FACE MOVE OF ARROGANCE…to the Citizens of Chicago and to the African American Community in Particular….Can’t help but wonder if they would have done the same to a Black Cop.”