Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, successor to Garry McCarthy, filed the paperwork with the Chicago Police Board on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, necessary to fire five police officers who were involved in the October 20, 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
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It’s been nearly two years since 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was killed after being shot 16 times by Chicago police and nearly a year since the video of that incident was released to the public. The fatal incident and its handling became symbolic for much that was wrong with the Chicago Police Department, from its officers on the streets to administration, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Superintendent Johnson took the action as a result of a recommendations made in a recent report by Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson who investigated the October 2014 incident and the subsequent reports and actions taken by officers involved that day. Ferguson recommended firing 10 officers; Johnson didn’t agree with firing one of those 10 named, two have retired and one had resigned, that being Jason Van Dyke’s partner, Joseph Walsh. The name and status of the final officer recommended for firing is unknown at this time.
Even though the firing of these individuals has been requested by Johnson, it is not a slam-dunk that the Chicago Police Board will necessarily take that action on one or all of the individuals. If the Police Board does agree with Johnson’s recommendations, any officer can then appeal their termination in court.
Chicago Police Move Forward in Trying to Improve Image, Regain Public’s Trust and Respect
Some changes happened almost immediately after the release of the police dashcam video of the shooting: Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke turned himself into police and was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laquan McDonald on November 24, 2015, the same day the video was publicly released and the termination of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on December 1, 2015.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has had to deal with fallout from not only the Laquan McDonald shooting but other incidences of violence against black members of the city, much of which has been held to be excessive and unwarranted according to concerned group such as Black Lives Matter, including calls for his resignation.
Feature photo source: NBCChicago.com via Urban Youth Justice on Twitter.com
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