US Attorney General Merrick Garland holds a news conference at the Department of Justice on August 5, 2021, in Washington.
CNN  — 

The NAACP released a letter Tuesday calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to move forward with federal charges against Jason Van Dyke and to provide an update on any federal investigation, days before the former Chicago police officer is set to be released from a state prison.

Van Dyke was convicted in October 2018 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for the shooting and killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He was sentenced to over six years in prison but is scheduled to be released Thursday, a little more than three years after being sentenced.

“The lack of resolution in the nearly six-year-old Federal Grand Jury investigation, convened in response to the shooting death of young Black minor, Laquan McDonald, coupled with the scheduled prison release of his shooter, disgraced former Chicago Police Officer and convicted Illinois state felon, Jason Van Dyke, are clearly alarming,” the letter from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People stated.

“We trust that you find the matters alarming as well and join with us in our call for closure of that Federal Grand Jury investigation as well as provide your commitment to move forward with appropriate and applicable federal charges based on the Federal Grand Jury findings and other relevant evidence,” continued the letter, which was signed by NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Illinois State Conference President Teresa Haley.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, which covers Chicago, had no comment on the status of any investigation.

The federal investigation is also mentioned in a similar letter addressed to Garland, sent by Illinois’ US senators, both Democrats, on Tuesday.

Sens. Dick Durbin, who serves as Senate Judiciary chair, and Tammy Duckworth penned a joint letter asking for a status update on the federal investigation into the “shocking and upsetting” murder of McDonald.

“In April 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a joint federal and state investigation into the shooting; however, there was never an announcement that the federal investigation had closed after Van Dyke was convicted of state charges,” part of the letter read.

“In October 2019, when activists called for federal civil rights charges against Van Dyke and other officers involved in the cover up of the murder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to state whether the federal investigation was still ongoing or closed. Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office again declined to comment on the status of the investigation,” the senators wrote.

The senators also wrote that Van Dyke’s state conviction does not prevent the federal government from charging him, citing the recent guilty plea from former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin to federal civil rights charges in the killing of George Floyd months after being convicted of Floyd’s murder at the state level.

A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the department had received the letters from the NAACP and the senators and was reviewing the information.