Update: Chicago 7 officers lied in Laquan McDonald shooting investigation, report finds
August 17, 2016 at 5:10 am
Update (August 18th): Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced Thursday morning that seven officers made false reports based on findings from a review of Laquan McDonald’s death. Because of their actions, Johnson has stripped them of their police status. The Superintendent does not have the right to unilaterally fire them and the officers are given the opportunity to contest the action before the Police Board. Members of the board are selected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Initially recommending that ten officers be terminated, two of the 10 have since retired and another will maintain his police status as insufficient evidence was presented for their role in the cover-up .
In an email, police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmo stated, “The department respectfully disagrees with the recommendation to fire the eighth officer, and feels that there is insufficient evidence to prove those respective allegations.” Officer Jason Van Dyke who fired 16 shots as McDonald has been charged with murder and is still awaiting trial.
In 2014, Jason Van Dyke, a Chicago police officer, shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Caught on dash cam, the video of the teen being gunned down by an officer sent the community into an uproar, demanding justice for his death. Van Dyke was charged with McDonald’s murder in November of 2015, yet there are still countless stories of officers shooting down citizens around the country and facing no charges at all.
After the Department of Justice released its report on the City of Baltimore’s police department, proving that the civil rights of citizens were routinely violated, other police departments are starting to clean house. Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson delivered a report on the shooting of McDonald to the police department on Tuesday. The report recommends at least 10 officers be terminated. Police Department Spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that they had received the report, but did not confirm if Superintendent Eddie Johnson would follow the recommendations or not.
The report was released around the same time as Chicago police Deputy Chief David McNaughton announced his retirement. McNaughton was unpopular with the community and others for his decision that the shooting of McDonald was in line with use of force policies.
As the information regarding the report continues to unfold, we’ll see if Chicago will be the next city on the DOJ’s list of police departments exposed for routinely violating civil rights and abusing use of force.