The wife of ex-Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of murdering Laquan McDonald, said her husband was attacked in prison following a transfer to an out-of-state facility, according to NBC News.
At a news conference with her husband’s lawyers on Wednesday, Tiffany Van Dyke said she wants her husband to be safe and back home. “I don’t know how safe he is. I don’t know the extent of his injuries,” she said. “At the end of the day, I want my husband home. I want him to be safe. I don’t need people to go into his cell and attack him … I cannot bury my husband.”
Van Dyke was sentenced last month for second-degree murder for killing McDonald, 17, in October 2014 in Chicago. He shot the Black teenager 16 times in an incident that was captured on video. His sentence carries almost seven years in prison.
His legal team claims that the assault took place at the low-security prison, the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, where he was placed in general population. He has reportedly suffered injuries to his face and head, according to NBC News.
Tammy Wendt, one of Van Dyke’s attorneys, said he received a confidential tip from one of the employees at the prison about what happened to her client. “He said, ‘I know you haven’t been told about the attack, and I wanted to let you know. And I’m very concerned about his safety.'”
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed the attack, saying Van Dyke suffered “minor injuries.” “The BOP is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public,” the bureau said in a statement to NBC.
Tiffany Van Dyke said that her husband’s case became a major issue about race “because of the fact that he is a White man who harmed a Black gentleman in the line of duty.”
“He is fearful for his life,” she said. “If they can get to him in general population, they can get to him anywhere.”