Van Dyke's Wife, Lawyers Speak Out Following Alleged Prison Attack

Tiffany Van Dyke says next time they could kill him.

February 14, 2019 - 1:32 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who killed teenager Laquan McDonald, is said to have been attacked by other inmates in his prison cell last week and his wife and lawyers are speaking out.  

"I cannot bury my husband," cried Tiffany Van Dyke as she spoke to reporters flanked by her lawyers Dan Herbert and Tammy Wendt.

Tiffany Van Dyke said she’s worried that the next time another inmate attacks her husband, her husband could be killed. 

"This is a gigantic race issue. They put my husband in a setting to be harmed, because it’s a fact, that he was a white man who harmed a black gentleman in the line of duty," she said.

Lawyer Dan Herbert said Van Dyke has a right to be safe in prison. 

"The mentality out there seems to be….that people won’t rest until he is either given a life sentence or killed in prison," he said. 

Lawyers said they’ve been given no information why Van Dyke was transferred from an isolated cell in a state prison in Illinois to a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. They also said they have not been given any information from officials on the attack against Van Dyke. 

The lawyers and Tiffany Van Dyke are calling on officials to ensure he is safe in prison. They said he was attacked in his cell soon after being placed in general population.

"Jason was placed in general population as if he was led, like a lamb, to the slaughter," Wendt said.

Tiffany Van Dyke said she now understands that Jason Van Dyke is on lockdown 23 hours a day in a segregated unit, although he still has a cellmate. 

Still, she's upset he was originally put in among other inmates, like the types of criminals he helped put behind bars.

"I don’t need people to go into his cell and attack him. The next time this could happen, they could kill him," Van Dyke said.

Van Dyke said she will continue to fight for her husband.

"There’s still the potential that someone’s going to really harm him. I cannot and will not stand by somebody hurting my husband, hurting my family more than we’ve already been hurt."

She said she has not been allowed to see or speak with her husband since he was sentenced on Jan. 18 to six years and 9 months behind bars. 

Lawyer Tammy Wendt said that, a day after Van Dyke had told his appellate lawyers he had been attacked, an informant, who she identified as employee of the federal prison, secretly contacted her and provided more information about the attack and said he was worried about Van Dyke's safety.