Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson recommended on Thursday that up to seven members of the Chicago Police Department be dismissed following allegations each participated in a cover up related to the death of Laquan McDonald.
McDonald, 17, was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke on the evening of Oct. 20, 2014, after McDonald, armed with a knife, refused commands from police to drop the weapon. Van Dyke has been placed on unpaid leave since his November arrest and is charged with nine counts of first-degree murder and official misconduct.
Of the 10 police officers involved at the scene of the incident, two have since retired from the force, a third did not sufficiently qualify for charges and the seven remaining are accused of filing false incident reports or making false statements about the incident.
The shooting death of McDonald was captured on a police dash-cam recorder.
Describing his decision to recommend dismissal of seven officers to the force, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson wrote:
“While I know that this type of action can come with many questions and varying opinions, please know that these decisions were not made lightly. Each of these decisions was based on a methodical and substantive review of the facts by both internal and external counsel. Each officer will have their right to due process.”
Johnson’s recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Chicago Police Board. The panel, made up of attorneys, civic leaders, retired judges and businesspersons, will weigh Johnson’s suggestions and render a final decision.
No date was set for a final verdict on the fate of the seven officers charged.
[Reuters] [cityofchicago.org] [Photo courtesy Chicago Police/Twitter]