Since the SDS National Convention in October of 2017, many more black and brown people have been targeted and murdered by the police and white supremacists alike in this country. On September 5th of this year, one of the biggest trials in recent memory began. Jason Van Dyke, a member of the Chicago Police Department, shot 17 year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times and murdered him. After three years of people's struggle in the streets, it was finally announced that Van Dyke would face a trial by a jury. While the criminal injustice system of Chicago did everything it could to stack the deck in favor of Officer Van Dyke (such as enlisting an almost entirely white jury in a city where African Americans make up a third of the population and covering up video evidence of the shooting), the jury came back with a guilty verdict on one count of 2nd degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. It was a powerful moment in the courthouse as the jury read off each count of battery, one for each shot.

For years now, students and community members have rallied for killer cops to be convicted and held to justice. Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration only released video evidence of the shooting after months of protests. SDSers held solidarity protests all around the country. Chicago protesters were again present during the hearing and then Van Dyke's trial itself. They not only called for a first-degree murder charge, but also for the city of Chicago to form a civilian police accountability council (CPAC) wherein leaders elected by the community could investigate polices crimes. In the end, Van Dyke was charged with 2nd degree murder. It was the first time a police officer who killed an African American person was ever charged with murder in the history of Chicago.

The violence that is done unto oppressed peoples in the United States is not something new, but something essential to its foundations through chattel slavery and the systematic genocide of the indigenous peoples. More importantly, the struggle against these practices has existed since the beginning. Slaves held uprisings on large plantations; indigenous peoples waged wars for self-defense; people took to the streets to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, Stephon Clark, and Isaiah Tucker; people used social media to express outrage when racists used police violence to keep them out of public places, as demonstrated by #BBQBecky, #PermitPatty, and #PoolPatrolPaula.

SDS stands with the working class, oppressed nationalities and peoples in the fight against police brutality. We demand there should be justice for the families of these victims, and we demand community control of the police in the form of CPACs. We resolve to continue rallying for justice and accountability, on and off campus.