CBD Alert: Van Dyke Trial Verdict Preparedness

By: | August 01, 2018


The trial of Jason Van Dyke is currently taking place at the Leighton Courthouse at 26th and California.  Van Dyke is a Chicago Police officer charged with the October 20, 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald.  Video of the shooting was recorded on a dash camera which was released to the public on November 24, 2015. The release of the video and the shooting prompted widespread protests and demonstrations in Chicago that continued for weeks and months.

The Van Dyke trial began on September 14.  Observers have noted that the trial is moving more quickly than anticipated and closing remarks could be completed in about 2.5 weeks, placing the conclusion of the trial in mid-October.  There are multiple charges to deliberate and the jury can also consider lesser charges.

The length of jury deliberations following closing arguments would remain uncertain. The decision could take hours or weeks.   When the jury reaches a verdict, the public will likely have only a 2-hour notice before the verdict is announced in court.

It is reasonable to expect that the verdict may prompt additional protest activity.

It is important that buildings have a preparedness and response plan in place prior to the announcement of the jury’s verdict.

Operational Planning

The City’s Emergency Operations Center will activate when the trail goes to the jury. BOMA/Chicago will monitor and participate with the EOC.

In preparation for the announcement of a decision, City, County and State law enforcement and public safety agencies have been developing their internal operational plans and coordinating among each other on communications and logistical support.

In the Central Business District, the OEMC and CPD are continuing to conduct safety message street canvasing with businesses on Michigan Avenue, State Street and surrounding areas. The public sector agencies are preparing staffing for potential protest activity throughout the City, including cancelling CPD vacations and mobilizing bike and mounted patrol teams.


Building operators and businesses should continue to use their regular liaisons, such as CPD Business Officers and BOMA/Chicago to send and receive information. It is important that BOMA/Chicago members ensure that they are receiving City alerts directly from CP3 and Notify Chicago and other sources. OEMC may use the IPAWS system as needed to send SMS messages to targeted areas. They will also send Notify Chicago email broadcasts, and will establish an interagency Joint Communications Center as required by events.

Click here for emergency notification subscription information.


To date, lightly attended and peaceful protests have occurred outside the courthouse at 26th and California in a designated protest area. When the verdict is announced, planned and unplanned protests could occur anywhere in the City, including the Central Business District.

CPIC will monitor public channels for potential protest activity, particularly those promoting violence. While most protesters simply want their message heard in a peaceful manner, experience in other cities has shown that protests can be infiltrated by instigators who deliberately want to ignite a confrontation, violence and property destruction.   Instigators then leave, while others who may have come peacefully get caught up in the violence. CPD will work with protesters as they have in recent events with the objective of avoiding confrontation that might escalate. CPD will act appropriately within the law if public safety is in jeopardy.

BOMA/Chicago Members and Tenants

Please see the attached Security Preparedness Bulletin, which was prepared by the CIPC, for reminders on securing your facilities and responding to incidents. The CPD also requests that private sector companies discuss the timing of the trial with their private security firms to ensure they have appropriate staffing and assess the risk of large public gatherings near your facilities.

In areas where large protests develop, CPD may request access to places of business to temporarily store equipment, gain access to rooftops, or provide officers with brief rest breaks. Please accommodate CPD if you can.

The OEMC also reminds private sector firms to ensure their street-facing cameras are in good working order and recording is enabled.

See Something/Say Something

As always, if you See Something / Say Something. The Public Sector agencies want to hear from you if you see, hear or note anything suspicious regarding these events.  For example, Antifa protesters in other cities have been known to hide materials like, bricks, lead pipes and Molotov cocktails at protest sites in advance so that they can be retrieved quickly during the event.

Please be prepared to share information in real-time on days when there is a high likelihood for protest.

Click here for the Chicago Police Department Crime Prevention and Information Center Security Preparedness Bulletin.


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