Chicago’s police superintendent is beating the drum for seven officers to be fired after he got to know that the officers gave false information in the 2014 shooting of Black teen, Laquan McDonald.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson indicated in a statement that after going through video, documents and other evidence, he was welcoming the city’s inspector general’s recommendation to axe the officers. His words were, “The Department and its outside counsel have carefully reviewed the reports and supporting documents, videos, and other evidence,” the statement reads, “and will accept the [city’s inspector general’s] recommendation to submit seven of the officers to the Police Board for separation.”
The video of the shooting, which was only released last year after a court order, showed Police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the teen 16 times. The footage seemed to refute police statements saying “that MacDonald had lunged at officers.” Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty. The seven officers who could get fired haven’t been publicly named yet.
Chicago’s office of the inspector general recommended 10 officers to be fired in relation to McDonald’s shooting and this was the police’s response: “Two high-ranking officers retired during the city’s long-delayed response to the incident. A lieutenant involved in the department’s response to the shooting, Anthony Wojcik, retired in May, while David McNaughton, the deputy chief who ruled Van Dyke’s shooting complied with departmental policy, retired this week just as it became publicly known that the inspector general’s office had delivered its report. The superintendent did not name any of the officers he is seeking to fire, but many of them were patrol officers at the scene of the shooting.”
The seven officers involved have to be severely punished for trying to hide details of the death of a Black teen. Although these measures are not enough, firing the officers could be counted as a first step in the right direction.
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