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Birthday Vigil For Laquan McDonald To Be Held Outside Cook County Courthouse

The memorial event comes as Officer Jason Van Dyke is on trial for murder in McDonald's death.

A vigil will be held for Laquan McDonald (left) outside the courthouse where Officer Jason Van Dyke (right) has been on trial for murder in the teen's death.
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CHICAGO — A vigil for Laquan McDonald will be held in honor of his birthday Tuesday.

The birthday vigil comes as Officer Jason Van Dyke is on trial for murder in McDonald’s death, and the event will be held outside the courtroom where the trial is taking place. It’s being organized by Justice 4 Laquan, an activist group calling for Van Dyke to be convicted.

McDonald, who was 17 when Van Dyke shot him 16 times, would have turned 21 the day of the vigil, and attendees are encouraged to bring signs, candles and balloons.

McDonald’s 2014 death — and Van Dyke’s subsequent trial — have received national attention. That attention intensified after video of the shooting was released in 2015 with the help of activist Will Calloway, a Justice 4 Laquan member.

The video was watched across the country and sparked protests in the city for weeks. Activists have said it helped them oust top political figures, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, ex-Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Anita Alvarez, the former Cook County state’s attorney. 

The memorial runs 6-9 p.m. Tuesday outside the courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave. More information is available on Facebook.