Justice, Not Revenge

Diocese of Chicago
Diocese of Chicago

The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee, Bishop of Chicago, writes on Oct. 5 in response to the murder conviction of Jason Van Dyke:

Today’s verdict in the trial of Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald is a long-awaited measure of justice for Laquan’s family and for the many Chicago residents who have struggled to build a system of policing that all citizens can trust and hold accountable.

I have been grateful in recent weeks for the courage of the McDonald family in calling for “complete peace” in the hours and days after the verdict. As Laquan’s great-uncle, the Rev. Martin Hunter, said recently, “I would like for justice to be given in this case. We’re not looking for revenge.”

Here in the Diocese of Chicago, we seek true peace, which comes only with justice, through our anti-racism and racial reconciliation initiatives, our advocacy against mass incarceration and systemic racism in the justice system and our examination of the legacy of slavery in our own congregations. My prayer for our work is that it will help bring about the kind of peace in which teenage boys no longer lose their lives on the streets of our city.

May God who has given us the will to do these things, give us also the grace and power to accomplish them.


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