The city of Chicago Police Board voted to fire four officers involved in the 2014 police killing of Laquan McDonald.
What We Know:
- In 2014, Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shot the black 17-year-old 16 times, a crime for which he was not held legally accountable for over three years; last year he was convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Van Dyke became the first Chicago police officer in 50 years to be convicted of murder in an on-duty shooting though it’s far from the first time it has happened in Chicago.
- The Board, which is an independent civilian body that decides police disciplinary cases, voted Thursday to fire four police officers largely involved in the cover-up of McDonald’s death by signing false reports and providing false accounts of the shooting. Three other officers were acquitted on criminal charges for covering up the shooting last year in addition to Van Dyke’s sentence.
- Among those fired was Van Dyke’s immediate superior the night of the murder, Sergeant Stephen Franko, and three other 8th District officers who were present for the murder. The four officers “violated important Department rules,” resulting in their dismissal from the Police Department; They failed to properly review the murder and including and approving false information in the reports of McDonald’s death.
- The officers on site gave false reports of what led to McDonald’s death, claiming McDonald had injured Van Dyke before shots were fired. This information was used in the investigation of the shooting. “Each of the three officers failed in their duty–either by outright lying or by shading the truth,” the report read. The officers exaggerated the threat McDonald posed, which was revealed in the review of a body cam video of the encounter between McDonald and Van Dyke.
Though nearly four years late, this decision continues to provide justice for McDonald and give public attention to police brutality in the city.